“It’s too easy to live alone”: Residents use online services to buy nothing and meet their neighbors – WCCO

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Minneapolis (WCCO​​) — There is a national campaign that is cleaning houses and saving money in the process. A donation chain in a twin-city community is also establishing new connections with neighbors.

It all started with a simple idea. Give up what you don’t want and ask for what you need. There are three types of posts—give, ask, and thank you.

After moving from Brooklyn and realizing that there was no Buy Nothing online group in her community, Sadie Struss started her community chapter. The group now has nearly 1,000 members who are saving money, reducing waste, and meeting their neighbors in the process.

“Suppose you have a sewing machine, but don’t know how it works, you can request a class,” Struss said. “I always say this is the last good place on the Internet… I think everyone is just looking for some type of connection.”

The Struss kid no longer likes one of their toys, so it goes to Maura Caldwell’s house.

“I have been looking for a shape classification toy for her, and she uses it in many different ways,” Caldwell said.

In fact, no matter where you look, Caldwell’s house is dotted with treasures given away by others.

“This bunk bed comes from a family on Buy Nothing,” she said. “The whole room was pieced together.”

Caldwell posted in the group that she has a costume that her children wear; it went to a new owner. When Mirra Neiman’s garden exploded this summer, she worked with her mother to provide the group with a large number of tomatoes.

“I need your jar, but I will also give you sauce,” she said. “I will walk out of the house in the morning, and there will be a jar waiting for me on the steps of my front door.”

Meanwhile, Jaibei Kaiser’s 2-year-old is enjoying what Neiman’s children no longer do.

“A lot of the things you buy are very short-lived,” Caesar said. “We just arrived in Minnesota, so this is a great way to meet our neighbors.”

One of the neighbors, JC Cross, accepted Kaiser’s proposal to remove the old party decorations.

“After the party, I thought,’Maybe someone will want this balloon arch, I don’t know,'” Caesar said.

Cross used it at his 6th birthday party and took it back to his home.

“We put it back, we have a few bouncy castles, and it turned out to be a good day in October,” Cross said. “People share things I don’t think they will share… like empty rolls of toilet paper.”

For many people, this group is a window into the lives of others and experience the four seasons of life.

“It’s too easy to live alone,” Cross said. “Being part of something like this gives people the opportunity to connect, understand each other and share their lives.”

Together they discovered our basic and unified humanity, which is always just one or two houses.

“It’s really great, it helps us treat each other as humans and neighbors, and connect with each other in this way,” Caesar said.

There are chapters all over Minnesota. If you want to find or start your own job, please click here.



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