Sunnyside Swap Shop re-opened as “Southside Swap & Play” on October 1, 2013 in our new home in the Woodstock neighborhood of SE Portland. Southside Swap & Play is located inside Our Lady of Sorrows Parish School on the corner of SE 52nd Avenue & Woodstock Boulevard. Member families have access to 2,200 square feet of indoor space for playing and swapping, 10 hours a week of open gym time, and a lovely playground across the street. Southside Swap & Play is so excited to be building community in and around the Woodstock neighborhood.
Why did Sunnyside Swap Shop close? After six wonderful years in the Sunnyside neighborhood, the Sunnyside Swap Shop was notified that we had to move out of Sunnyside Methodist Church by August 31, 2013. The Sunnyside Swap Shop closed on Saturday, August 24 and we spent all of September getting set up in the new location in Woodstock. We are truly grateful to the inspiring community of children and families who played, swapped, and grew up with us in Sunnyside.
Ellen Zientek, Director
A bit of swap and play history:
The Sunnyside Swap Shop & Play Space opened in October 2007 as a family co-op that offered a great option for babies and children up to 10 years old to play, run, and jump indoors during Portland’s rainy months as well as a fenced backyard where parents could kick back, relax and watch their kids engage in creative and active play. The swap between members of goods and services reduced our collective consumer footprint through the exchange of children’s toys, clothing, and books and shared babysitting time in the space.
To our knowledge, the Sunnyisde Swap Shop Co-op was the first such formalized swap and play space in the United States and, most likely, in the world.
There are now five swap and play spaces in the greater Portland area. Guidelines for swapping are simple and based on the honor system of swapping out only as much as you trade in. Minimal monthly dues provide a world of benefits and each family takes on one or two co-op jobs such as helping with cleaning or organizing toy bins so the space runs smoothly.
The swapping part of the original Sunnyside Swap Shop co-operative lives on in the Sunnyside Neighbohood in the Back-to-School Exchange, hosted now by Sunnyside Environmental School as it was before the Sunnyside Swap Shop first opened. The spring Useful Goods Exchange event information was turned over to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association in the hopes that it will continue in in future years.
The Yahoo list serve that started as a place for Sunnyside Swap Shop families to communicate with each other is now the Sunnyside Families list serve. Free and open to all who live in or frequent the sunnyside neighborhood, the list serve is a place to list items for swap and seek and share local resource information including Know Your Neighbors local business postings.
Started by Karen Hery, a single mom who moved to Portland for community, the Sunnyside Swap Shop, LLC, now running as the Southside Swap and Play, is still incorporated into a 501c3 charitable non-profit organization, the Windward Education and Research Center.