The annual Useful Goods Exchange held at Sunnyside Environmental School for its first four years and the long running Sunnyside Neighborhood Clean Up merged to become the Sunnyside Swap and Spring Clean Up three years ago.
In 2014, for the first time since 2007 this spring swap will not be happening in the Sunnyside Neighborhood.
The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association has decided to do just a Spring neighborhood clean up without a concurrent swap event. The clean up is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 3rd. More details to be posted here soon . . .
To swap as we have in year’s past, please consider attending the Trash 2 Treasure event modeled after our original Useful Goods Exchange happening this year on Saturday, April 26th.
Swap Shop founder, Karen Hery, who ran the Useful Goods Exchange since its inception and stewarded the past three years of the joint clean up and swap, retired from running the Sunnyside Swap and Spring Clean Up last year. There is documentation available for the next organizer to be able to step in and keep a great thing going. If you are interested in considering this role for future years, contact the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association at: board©sunnysideneighborhood•com.
Tips for making the best of a swapping event:
Leading up to the weekend:
Box and bag up any and all useful items that you would like out of your house and recirculating in community: clothes that no longer fit or suit, extra housewares, books, toys your kids have grown out of or grown tired of, spare furniture, usable construction materials, gardening supplies, etc.
Early Drop off Dropping off your items at the earliest posted time helps a swap have a great start.
All day swap. You can wait and bring in your useful items. Come in the day of the swap and add your own useful items to the departments (clothing, toys, furniture, books, household goods, renovation supplies) then shop for things you would like in return. If all swapping is done on the honor system, all you need to do is give as much or more than you take in a way that feels fair to you. If you want to assure that you get fair value in return for the items you bring, you can shop first and swap second, taking out of the exchange the things that you want and returning by the close of the event with your items in trade.
How to help out:
Volunteers get the best selection of items for exchange. With new items coming in throughout the event, every hour is a good hour to be volunteering.
Check about siging up to volunteer in advance. Walk in volunteers (adults and students) are often welcome at these events.
FYI: The Back-to-School Exchange – accepting just clothes, books, sports equipment and school supplies happens at the end of August at Sunnyside Environmental School to help kick of the new school year. Check back here in the summer for the event day.
Testimonials about the annual Sunnyside Swap and Spring Clean Up:
This event has created a big open space in our hearts, filled with dreams, hopes, realities, possibilities and connections for me and my family. My son, who somehow has the “materialism” gene, was utterly amazed at the sheer number of items there just for him (I imagine he thought) to choose from! The miracle occurred when he came to realize that all those toys that were there, all the stuff, was stuff that members of the community, his community, were so freely giving away. There were so many levels of appreciation to that realization of his, that his face could barely contain it, so that his smile got wild and his eyes rolled around happily in his head! It was breathtaking to behold, truly, to see the effects on my son’s face last Saturday! I cannot thank you enough.
- Nikki Monacelli
Founding member of the Sunnyside Swap Shop Co-op
Parent of a Sunnyside Environmental School student
I went out of town just after the Useful Goods Exchange and I couldn’t stop thinking and telling people about how cool it was and how there should be things like this all the time in every town. How could you walk away from such an event and not feel warmed by the teamwork, generosity and abundance. Also, how could you walk into a store and buy something new any time soon?! I look forward to continuing to raise my children in a neighborhood and a culture that values sharing and stewardship over materialism and consumption.
- Carmen VanEck, Sunnyside neighbor
My muscles are sore and my heart is happy having watched our whole neighborhood and swap shop community re-circulate such wonderful things with each other all weekend long.
It’s great having the neighborhood clean up and swap in the same location now. One family dug up a whole bed of lilies and irises intending to put them in the yard waste bin and some great volunteers bagged them all up for people to take home. The last bag went out the door just before we closed on Sunday. Love all the connections and benefits to us all.
- Karen Hery, event founder