I first time I heard of this amazing idea was when my friend Dawn mentioned it to me. At that time, there was not a group in my neighborhood, so I moved on from the idea. Later, when I relocated to a different neighborhood, I thought for sure there would be a group. Nope! How could this be? It is such an wonderful idea. So I decided to look into it further. What is Buy Nothing and what could I do about the lack of a group in my area?
The Buy Nothing Project is the idea, that instead of sending no longer needed stuff to the landfill, you can give it to your neighbors that need it for free. It is run as a private group on Facebook. Each group has defined neighborhoods with their streets set as boundaries. You can only belong to one group and only the group for the area you live within. There is a reason for this. The groups are intended to not only prevent usable items from heading to the landfills but also to help build community. It is encouraged, that when you pick up an item, you arrange a time when you and the gift-giver can meet. There by helping to build a community and helping neighbors get to know neighbors. This is such an amazing idea, right!?!
It is also possible for neighbors to borrow items from other neighbors or put up posts asking for something (maybe something someone no longer has need of). Gifts of service can also be given as well on the buy nothing site. Maybe someone needs help with lawn work or a ride somewhere. It truly is a community (and Site) of people just giving and helping one another.
So how could neither of my neighborhoods have this amazing group? I went to the website to see what could be done about this and I found my solution quickly. There was no one willing to be a administrator of the site in those areas. So I could volunteer to be the administrator of my local group if I wanted to start one there. I am pretty busy but I felt that this would be worth it. I reached out through the website and volunteered. In no time at all I was starting my own neighborhood group. I worried if I would be able to grow the group large enough that it would become self-sustaining, healthy and active. I knew a few people in the group and had recently joined the My Neighborhood App. That was all it took! The group grew quickly and gifts began being shared freely and it took on a life of it’s own. I am proud to say that my neighborhood Buy Nothing group currently has 270 members and counting.
Some groups are more interactive. Some run contests, which are fun. Like can you gift something everyday for some many days, would be one example. I read about another group where a whole wedding was planned and all items provided by the Buy Nothing Group! Wow! That is really great some random acts of kindness. It is also encouraged that the first to respond should not always get the item automatically, but rather people should comment why they were hoping for the item, then a selection made for the person with the biggest need or the most interesting reason to get it. Additionally those posting items are encouraged to tell a story about the item they are offering to their neighbors. Gratitude is always encouraged amongst the group. Freely expressing thanks for items received; is a beautiful way to keep the neighborhood vibration high and intentions pure. All of this is meant to continue to build strong a community and spread love.
Do you belong to a Buy Nothing Group? If not, it’s is worth looking into. If there is not one in your neighborhood, do what I did, volunteer to be the Administrator! There are resources and support people to help you and offer suggestions. I have found that being a Buy Nothing Administrator takes very little of my time and is very worth while.
Thank you for reading my Blog today. I wish you a lifetime filled with random acts of kindness, as if by magic.
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