Saturday, October 5, 2013

Corvallis Family Clothing Swap

Hey all!

So today it finally happened.
The Clothing Swap that I have been looking forward to since last Spring!

This is the fourth technical clothing swap that's been held by what I'll call my core group of knitter-friends (heh) and it was hands down the best.

It was just long enough, with just enough help, just enough attendance and just enough leftovers to donate. It just felt so...right! :)))
(And there were no broken mirrors -- score!)

To reiterate what our Clothing Swaps are all about, it's a way to replenish our wardrobes without spending any money and getting rid of clothes we no longer use for ones that we will. In the past, they've been "mama-baby" events, but this time we expanded it to include men too, hence the name change to the "Corvallis Family Clothing Swap" (CFCS).

There were other key changes that included:

- a committee of volunteers running it before, during, and after the event. Eight or so of us total...?
- more destinations to send the leftovers as donations to
- more signs, clearer communication in general
- we reached a broader community through school systems, and parenting programs/groups
- more efficient use of the tables and space
- more snacks and re-energizing wrap-up meal at the end for the volunteers
- local newspaper coverage (rockin'!)
- 3 mirrors around the room to offer easier trying on of clothes

Really, having more voices and hands in the organizing and pulling off of the event made a huge difference! Whereas last time the tearing down was very exhausting and demanding, it was fun and I felt energized the whole time :) Plus everyone had such good input that made a real difference in terms of efficiency and fun~

Best of all, I think we reached the right audience more this time by appealing to mamas-to-be through different venues so that the clothes were going to people who could really use them. Nothing better than helping mamas-to-be not feel the strain of shopping for their little one, because there is so much perfectly good baby gear out there with little-to-no wear on it that they don't have to spend a dime on.
It felt great to see people happily coming in and just being stoked that they could pick and choose whatever clothes they bring home for free! :)

I really think that we've done all the hard work this time...and the next one (held in Spring '14) will be far less work, since we just have to reuse what we already set in place this time around. :)

Well, enough yapping and on with the photos, eh?
See below~

Somewhat early in the day. Notice we've got a man here! Naturally, our friend Matt :)
A fantastic spread so generously donated by all the volunteers.
Including black bananas courtesy of Chrissy, ha!
This was about the heyday of the event. Lotsa folks, for sure!!
Of course, the ever necessary SAFE ZONE.
That stroller there was mine...and by the end it was covered in clothes!
We made use of the Table Rollers to put the children's shoes on.
There were times in the day when peeps just streeeeamed right in.
Gotta love the social aspect of The Swap. Old friends catching up, and new ones meeting too!
Li'l Henry cameo there too ;)

All in all, I think the event rawked.
The space really worked well even with double-wide tables and kids running all over the place. There were no mishaps and everyone seemed very happy. Ella Rose and I kept trying on outfit after outfit. There were just so many good finds!! As usual, I came with a bunch of stuff to purge...only to end up bringing home three huge garbage bags of loot. Ha!!

In any case, none of this would have been possible without the help of all my lovely lady friends:

R>L: Rachel, Me, Sophie, Sarah, Peachy Emily, Emily M., Kim, and Beth (unfortunately Angela had already left)
(All those boxes on the table in front of us are what went to local charities)

♥♡♥♡♥♡ I love you all!! ♥♡♥♡♥♡

To all those who came, I hope you had a great time and thank you for making The Swap what it is! :)
To those who couldn't make it, don't worry because we'll be holding the next one in the Spring as always. Start saving up your clothes now ;)

I look forward to reveling in all my new scores, and seeing all the CFCS committee members at the next knitting night. We'll all probably marvel at how every item on our bodies was a product of a Clothing Swap. Ha!!

Until next time, take care and Happy Corvallis Family Clothing Swaps!!

(And last but not least, a random shot of William and Ella play-driving)

William loves getting behind the wheel.

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