Monday, February 25, 2013

Swap (large family finances)

Every family has stuff around that they don't need, and also needs that must be filled.  The saying "One man's junk is another man's treasure" is what a Swap is all about.  When de-cluttering, switching out clothes for the season, or just moving on to other things/places; being able to bless others you know is always nice.  The church we've been attending does about six swaps a year and they are such a blessing!

Swap basics- First you'll need a group to do your swap with.  Our regular group is our church, but we've also done one with a homeschool group (these have all been organized by others in our groups, but I'm looking forward to being able to put them together at our next assignment).  I'm sure there are plenty of other groups that this could work with.  This is part of being a community, part of the body of Christ; caring for one another and sharing our blessings/burdens.

Next you'll need a space for this.  A large open space with lots of tables (labeled by category) is very nice but this can easily be done in a home as well.

Some guidelines are helpful.
- At our church swap everyone is welcome to choose things, even if they didn't bring anything.  You will need to decide for your group how you would want to do this.

-What to bring?  Anything can be brought as long as it is in good working condition (though our boys are THRILLED with broken electronics to take appart, a note on them is a good idea).  Clothes with no stains or holes are great.  Toys, games, books, and puzzles are fun.  Household items, craft supplies, decor and tools can be a wonderful blessing.  Baby gear is often very lightly used and has much life in it when you are done, bless someone else with it!  Furniture, bikes and other large items can really be a blessing, but it may be a good idea to send out an e-mail to the group with a picture to find out if anyone wants it before going through the effort of bringing it or make sure that the person responsible for the leftovers is willing to deal with it.  Livestock has been joked about at our swap...

-Set up.  Label tables/areas with categories such as baby, little girls, big girls, little boys, big boys, men, women, toys, books, household, shoes, etc...

-Order of picking needs to be determined.  You could give numbers in the order that people RSVP'd or arrived at the swap, or just not worry about it.

- Kids have fun at a swap too, but should wait until the adults have all had the chance to look over everything and have grabbed what they need.  Kids should be reminded that they need to check with parents before claiming anything.

-What to do with the leftovers?  There are always plenty of great leftovers at the swaps.  Sometimes they just don't fill a need of those who are there, but could truly bless someone else.  There are many ministries, charities, and groups that are happy to take such things.  Make sure that you make arrangements ahead of time especially if it is a smaller organization.

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