Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Rob writes about his first visit to the market on June 1st:
I went there on Saturday - .... First, I was pleasantly surprised at the friendly atmosphere there - everyone was smiling and happy and helpful - and it IS a place where you can go and just take what you need - I expected that you'd have to find someone to ask if you could have something - didn't happen - it was great - I got a slow cooker that had a note attached to it about the handle on the lid - someone was very thoughtful - but hey, it works, I can still get the lid off. Here's the disappointment .... and I make no bones about it. Toronto has a population of several million - WE have a membership of over 25,000 - so where the hell was everyone? Every day I see posts offering this, that, something else. I see posts asking for that, this and all the rest. I am one of them - I post offers, I post wanteds, I respond to offers and wanteds.... Just yesterday was a post 'Last chance before the magazines go to recycling....' How many times have we seen people offer and then re-offer items because nobody responded? How many times have we seen people ask and then re-ask because nobody responded.... HERE'S the chance, once a month, to pack the car up with everything that you don't want, bring it to a central place, put it out on tables... you don't even have to sit there all day - after all, you're not selling the damned stuff, it's free for whoever wants it - sort it out into the various areas for electronics, ladies clothing, kitchen stuff, yada yada yada, and hey, if you don't want to stay and meet and greet some fantastic people, go home.... or stick around and see what everyone else is bringing and take home a few items that you could use..... Personally, I think this FreeMarket idea is fantastic - I can see it turning into a neat monthly event during the summer - hell, if we all get involved as participants, let's get some folks to bring portable bbq's and some burgers, bring the family, have a picnic while you 'shop' and go home and not spend a cent. Whatever gets left over goes to charities at the end of the day - it doesn't go to Goodwill or Sally Ann or that other un-mentionable leaching place that takes donations in and then sells them and gives 'a percentage' to charity.... I filled my car at the end of the day and dropped everything off at Scott Mission - and the reception I got there was fantastic - they were so happy to get the stuff, they even helped unload the car..... (Scott Mission is one of my favorite charities - they do so much for people - they have a food bank, a furniture bank, a free clothing bank, and they give out free hot lunches every day and they NEVER ask you what your financial status is - they treat everyone with dignity and respect....) I met some of the founders and organizers of this Free Market - I was TOTALLY impressed, stood there for a while and chatted and had a marvelous conversation - they should all be commended for the hard work they put into organizing these monthly events.... at the end of the day, they were exhausted, but they still had a big smile on their face.... kudos to them all! WE need to get involved - WE need to join in and participate and WE need to support this idea.... what a fantastic way to share all those items that you've offered on Freecycle that nobody emailed about, and what a great way to wander around and find items that you need, and what an even BETTER way to meet new friends who have the same goal - get stuff away from the landfill. First Saturday of every month - next month is their first anniversary - let's turn it into a big event - have a picnic, have a party and SHARE....... Isn't that what we are all about?