I got a chess set
...and a rocking horse
...a keyboard, book and tin of soup
...an ironing board
...some winter warmers
...a spinning thing
...and a truck
We’ve got a storage area, donated by a local small business. It’s full of things people have given us. We collect a pile of stuff from here and take it to a venue in the community (which today is a local church). The event has been advertised by our hosts in Penycae by flyers, posters and word of mouth, and we’ve advertised it through press releases to the local rags and radio as well as via local email lists.
More things arrive, which we add to our pile. Our vans go out to collect even more stuff. People start looking round and finding things they want. We say this a lot: “No, really. It’s all free. Take as much as you want. There’s plenty to go round.”
Loads of stuff finds new homes, but we never seem to run out of stock as more things are being brought in all the time. The vans deliver larger items for people in the local area who don’t have their own transport. Everyone drinks lots of free tea and coffee and enjoys free vegan cake and biscuits. Donations in the box (which are completely voluntary and not expected) usually cover the cost of fuel for the vans.
After three hours of this, we clear up, load all the leftovers back into the vans and take it to our storage space. That’s about it. In the future we’re hoping to run free stalls in town and maybe set up a free shop or free warehouse.
We know there are other people around who are doing similar stuff, and we’d really like to hear about what you’re doing – free events like this; free stalls; free shops; free warehouses – whatever.
We’re looking at the possibility of incorporating our group, maybe as a ‘Bencom’. What would the advantages be? What are the pitfalls? If you can help or advise us, please get in touch.
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