Neighbors connect, usually in a Facebook group, to offer and ask for items, no strings attached. Sound a little like what Austin Humanists at Work volunteers do?
Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people have been connected to things they want and need. The hyper-local gift economy has become a worldwide social movement, with groups in 20 nations.
The Buy Nothing Project is not a charity or a community bulletin board. However, members of the community often give items that would be gladly accepted by the clients served by Austin Humanists at Work.
“I noticed someone in my local Buy Nothing Project Facebook group offered up used work shirts. There wasn’t much interest, so I mentioned we could distribute them at Austin Humanists at Work giveaways,” said Emilie Lutostanski, ATXHAW board member. “This neighbor of mine dropped off two bags of clothes and shoes. Buy Nothing Project was a chance to connect someone wanting to give to our clients, who are looking to receive these kinds of items.”
There are many Buy Nothing Project groups throughout Austin and the surrounding areas. For example, the Milwood/Hunter’s Chase/Riata Facebook group does regular drives for specific items, said ATXHAW board president Virginia Miller. She said she hopes ATXHAW supporters especially will find Buy Nothing Groups in their own areas, and start new groups where none exist.
The Buy Nothing Project is just one way to use the connectivity of the internet to help individuals in need. ATXHAW volunteers often use Nextdoor, the social platform for neighborhoods, to request items such as travel-size toiletries, backpacks, and sunscreen. Response rates have been great also to birthday-themed fundraisers held by individual volunteers on Facebook.
Looking for even more ways to help ATXHAW? See our previous blog post.
Austin Humanists at Work
Our mission is to uphold the values of humanism by assisting people in need in the Austin community. Our main focus is to provide a short-term supply of basic living items at our monthly giveaways.