jump into the roost


Fall Back-to-School Exchange

What: Every fall for seven years running the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op has been hosting a Back-to-School Exchange to help lighten our footprint on the planet and lighten the load on our pocketbooks as we all get ready for the new school year.

For the 2013/14 school year, we are back in our original location: Sunnyside Environmental School in the 3400 block of SE Salmon.

When: Monday, August 26th noon – 7pm.  Early drop of of swap donations: 5-8pm Sunday, August 25th and 9am-11:30 am, Monday, August 26th for a free entry ticket.

Cost: $2 entry fee per family if you have not done early drop off and picked up an entry ticket

Where: Sunnyside Environmental School.  The past two years this event has been in the downstairs dining hall of the Sunnyside Methodist Church Building at 35th and SE Yamhill Street.   Before that, it was held in the gym at Sunnyside Environmental School.  We are returning to our roots at Sunnyside Environmental School this year, this time in the school auditorium easily accessible from SE Salmon between 34th and 35th.

Who: Neighbors and friends shopping for new-to-you back to school clothes, jackets, backpacks, lunch boxes, bikes, sports gear and supplies from the donations that everyone brings in to share.  Anyone and everyone is invited to participate by bringing in and shopping for new-to-you items for the fall.

Back To School pic 9
The Back-to-School Exchange makes the first day of school into a giant parade of recycled clothing and equipment as lots of students show off their latest find and find their last year’s things living a new life with another student.

Here are great ways for delivering items to the exchange:

1) If you are not sure you can make it the day of the event but have items to share: drop off your donations labeled “Back-To-School Exchange” under the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op sign at the top of steps on the Yamhill side of the Sunnyside Methodist Church building at 35th and Yamhill the week before the event.

2) Drop off  items 5-8pm on Sunday, August 25th or 9-11:30 on Monday, August 26th and receive ticket to get into the noon – 7pm event for free.

3) Come in Sunday night or Monday morning during drop off times  to volunteer to help sort and display items for a great first peek at what’s for swap.  Note: if we have enough volunteers, we will form an early entry line for families who come 11 am 0r later.

4) Just come on in noon-7 for the exchange with your swap items in hand and donate $2 per family for admission.  $1 of your admission fee goes towards the costs of the exchange and the other helps Portland Public Schools Clothing Center make sure families in need have good clothing resources.

Tips for making the best of the exchange:

1) Swap before shopping.  We’ve left enough time before the start of school that you can swap with us before needing to shop for new items.  We can’t promise the jacket or tennis shoes in your child’s size that you need will arrive but if they do, you can check that off your shopping list!

2) Not sure if you want to drop off everything you have to share before you find out what items are there for you?  It’s perfectly OK to shop before you swap selecting what you want for swap before adding what you want to give in return.

3) Join in as an event volunteer.  Some of the best finds come from sorting through and sorting out the racks and tables for everyone’s benefit.  Help us all shop well and you never know what you might find.

Items we love to see:

Clothes (infant to adult sizes) in good condition (no rips or tears)

Shoes and accessories

Art and school supplies (paper, crayons, pencils, scissors, clip boards, glue, paint, etc)

Backpacks, lunch boxes and book bags

Bikes, scooters and bike safety gear

Sports gear (specialty shoes, sports equipment, jerseys)

Toys (to help entertain the young shoppers)

Items we don’t take at this exchange:

Large furniture, misc household goods, toxic chemicals


Youth and adult volunteers make a big difference at this event.  We can always find things for you to do if you show up the day of the swap and want to help out.  It is really great to know who is coming when.  Adults and youth over 11 can register to volunteer during the exchange through Hands On Portland.


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