We live in a world of both extreme need and an unprecedented abundance of stuff, and Christine Dashiell has squared those two realities in the Corvallis community. After witnessing the beautiful practicality of recycling unwanted or unneeded items at her own “alternative baby shower” of re-gifted items, she came up with the idea of a family gift economy.
She started with just a small group of friends, where she encouraged everyone to give any extra or unused items to other members of the group who needed them. Due to growing interest, she created the Corvallis Families Gift Economy Facebook group, which now has over 3,000 members.
Once that took off, she decided to start organizing a clothing swap, now held seasonally at First United Methodist Church in Corvallis. People can bring any clothing or household items to donate, and can take whatever they can use. The items are organized on tables by type and size, and volunteers make signs, direct those who need help, and donate snacks for everyone to enjoy.
At the end of the swap, anything that isn’t claimed is donated to various local charities such as Community Outreach, June’s Kids Kloset, and the Arc. Dashiell is pleased with the outcome of the swaps and hopes that those who come to a swap and see the possibilities of sharing in this way are able to start similar groups and events in adjacent communities, spreading the idea of neighborhood sharing.
The next clothing swap is scheduled for Saturday, March 5 from 12 to 3 p.m. Find out more information on their website, https://
By Sarah Nieminski