|The Wright Brothers' dream...|
Picture this: Folks read posts by members in a local Buy Nothing group Facebook message board...perhaps one member is giving away an item and another member is confirmed as the recipient. While picking up the item from the Gifter at a pre-arranged time and place, the two members begin to chat and eventually become real life friends who care for each other, even if Facebook crashes and this online forum is completely unavailable...pretty amazing, isn't it?
That happens all the time in the Buy Nothing Project. It is beautiful when people come together and realize, "Hey! You live just eight blocks from me!" Facebook is a great tool...but those neighbors don't have to rely on it solely as their contact if they choose to become friends and simply connect in real life. Imagine your Buy Nothing group splitting when it becomes unmanageable due to huge size. Then imagine those halves splitting when that same thing occurs and those two groups are gigantic. Then those four groups all eventually split...and so on. Imagine your group a while in the future having divided repeatedly like a healthy living cell...becoming always smaller geographically, while still populated by enough members to thrive. Imagine that eventually each local group in your area averages in size by perhaps ten square blocks (or maybe five square miles if you live more rural). Could you imagine a project based on and committed to community camaraderie, neighborly support and honest interaction so saturating an area that size that most of your neighbors already knew the concepts and embraced the mission? Could you imagine how that community would look? Would the members of that community live with a greater sense of security, more friendliness?
During a recent winter storm, one such group in western Washington state experienced just this kind of concern. As late evening darkness fell and winds rose to severe storm levels, people hunkered down to ride it out with flashlights at the ready for the expected power outages. Tree branches crashed down and lights went out...and throughout the night, group members kept in touch via email and cell phones to make sure their community remained safe. One gentleman was blockaded in his driveway because a tree limb fell behind his car, and he could not get out to drive to work...several members showed up to remove the limb and saw him safely on his way. Other members delivered candles, flashlights and batteries to those who had none, and still others provided hot meals for those who were without power for prolonged periods of time. Winter storms happen in lots of places, and people weather them as best they are able. But it sure is easier and far less stressful when you have a community who truly cares for its members and looks out for them.
Perhaps less dramatic was the little girl's birthday made far more wonderful by members who rallied behind her family to stretch a tight budget with a fun party. Or the nursing home resident who received clothes, a special blanket, and a handmade Seattle Seahawks keepsake for his room. Then there is the woman who does not drive, so she doesn't get our from her home very often, having guests for coffee and making new friends through her local Buy Nothing group. These kinds of stories are endless, and will only continue to repeat themselves as the Project grows!
|...the dream flew.|
Just ask the Wright Brothers.
Please read about the Buy Nothing Project.
Visit the Buy Nothing Community Facebook page.