When Tracy Hubbard heard about the project of not buying anything on Facebook, she decided it was something Kingston needed.
She became an administrator and the Buy Nothing Kingston-West project was born.
“It goes back to the days when my grandparents were alive and talking to their neighbors and saying, ‘I have too many tomatoes or too many cucumbers, would you like some?’ Hubbard said.
The Facebook group is a place to give away things you no longer need, like toys, books, clothes, and even a toilet. It is also a place to express needs.
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“We had a member who had to move suddenly and as a management team we posted for her and gave her a list of what she needed and on move in day she had everything she needed to start a new apartment, a new life. Hubbard said.
The groups are hyperlocal and only in Kingston, there are three: Kingston West, Central and East.
The idea started in Washington with two founding members and grew rapidly.
“We are on six continents, in more than 100 countries with more than 4 million members,” said Sherose Bodruddin.
The stories of kindness within Buy Nothing are endless: a gift from a cassette player so a woman could hear the voice of her biological father whom she had never met, the gift of meal kits to a family who cannot go to the grocery store and people. They even got together to collect items for Northern Beginnings, a charity that ships baby items to Iqaluit.
Mother and son give back to the community through gifts of kindness and gratitude.
“The community has really paid off. So far we have shipped 14 boxes from our little community here in Kingston alone, ”said Amelie Brack.
The good stories continue. The gift of a ramp for an older dog and the gift of homemade cakes for a family’s Thanksgiving.
“Even in the darkest and worst days when people are not nice,” Hubbard said. “There is a whole circle of goodness out there, you just have to look for it.”
Don’t buy anything The founders say the movement is catching on so well that no matter where you are in Canada, there is probably one in your community already.
Now, they hope to launch an app in the coming months, making the generosity of neighbors even more accessible.
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