In the most recent copy of Countryside & Small Stock Journal I read an article that really caught my eye and caused me to get REALLY excited! It was titled, “Save money, recycle and make new friends with a Community Treasure Chest!” by Sandy Coates.
I will do the article no justice so if you are really interested I suggest you go and buy a copy of the magazine or see if you can get the article on-line. I may even be really nice and mail you a copy of the article if you are one of the first few to respond and request. (only have a couple stamps and d@#! they are getting expensive 🙂 )
Here is the short version.
You get a group of people that are in a reasonable geographical region (a neighborhood, close by towns, workplace) I contacted friends from 4 local towns. The suggested amount is 10 people and that is what I stuck with. The coordinator puts together a tote (a 28 gallon is what the author suggests). You place a few clean, decent items in that you would like to get rid of together (books, household goods, purses, shoes, clothing). Along with the tote you attach a notebook. In the notebook I included the “rules” which I will post below, a list of the members in order if circulation. For example the tote started with me: Kim, Jackie, Sarah, Bobbie….. You get the picture or am I confusing you?
Each person has the task of receiving the tote, taking what they want then placing at least one item in the tote, then passing it on to the next person asap.
In the notebook you also include a list of the members and their contact information ( I included phone #’s and e-mail). Lastly, there is a classified section in the notebook that is used to let people know if you have any bigger items you have for free or sale and/or write in something you may be looking for.
For anyone that may be interested in doing this here are the rules.
1. You are welcome to take as many items from the chest as you may find useful. Please share the contents with family and friends. They are free.
2. Try to contribute at least one item per cycle. This can be a household item, clothing or shoes. These must be clean and in good condition. You are welcome to contribute as much as the chest will easily hold.
3. Please keep the chest moving. Pass it on to the next person promptly, preferably within 3 days. Make sure you call the monitor (coordinator) when you have passed it on.
4. When the chest has made a full cycle and returned to you, please remove any of your previously donated items and pass them onto charity. This will allow room for new items.
5. No soiled, tattered or bulky clothing or rags, no heavy items such as books, appliances, cleansers or paint. Please advertise these in the ad section of the notebook. (I think books are ok just not a set of encyclopedias or such)
6. Food must be sealed and within the package’s expiration dates. Other food items can be advertised in the notebook.
7. Please keep the chest neat and tidy, refold items after looking at them.
8. The attached notebook contains members’ names, phone numbers and chest rules, with the remainder of the notebook devoted to classified ads. Use it as much as you want. Please mark out any old ads that are no longer applicable. Remember to include your name and contact number or e-mail with your ad. Please make sure the notebook remains with the chest.
Sandy ends the article saying, “Now over three years strong, our Community Treasure Chest has been a continued source of entertainment and resourcefulness. Through our chest we have helped each other save money, save resources and save the environment. We have secretly helped families in need who have been too proud to take public handouts but in the privacy of their own home have found within the chest a little something to get them through. Best of all, we have become better acquainted with our friends and neighbors. it seems the treasure chest has over-flowed into other aspects of our lives. Like worldly goods passed on in the chest, we too have something to offer, something to pass on; to be admired and cherished. The greatest treasure our chest holds is the friendships and sense of community it has helped create.”
We currently have 1 tote in circulation in it’s first cycle. There were others interested so I decided to get another group started and hope to have that tote in circulation this week. We are already up to 6 members in this group. That allows room for 4 others to join along if you are interested. I know you locals read my blog….Miki? Kimberly? Susan? Claudine? Marie? If your interested give me a call of I would LOVE if you left me a comment here. You do not have to be a blogger to comment.! Hint, hint! Lastly, THANKS to Sandy for the GREAT article and WONDERFUL idea. I look forward to this adventure and will update our progress here from time to time.