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Giving It Away is the Way to Go!

Giving It Away is the Way to Go!

Before Europeans arrived and literally outlawed the practice, the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest celebrated major life events with a Potlach ceremony — where they would give away their goods.

The settlers were shocked, but the First Nation peoples actually ran their whole society on a gift economy – where the “richest” were the ones who gave the most away.

We live in a very different way. But if you are burdened by mountains of stuff you no longer use, you may find that giving it away is a great way to go. Here are some ways to give generously:

  • Have a Garage Sale where everything is free.

You don’t have to advertise it that way. But when you see someone is genuinely interested in something you have, experience the joy of giving it as a gift. You get to lighten your load, and brighten someone’s life in one simple transaction.

  • Have your own family Potlach potluck.

Bring your family and friends together and gift each of them with something that’s been
Important to you. Let them know what it’s meant to you, and why you chose it for them.

  • Find a group/organization that needs what you have.

You may be surprised what good you can do with stuff you think no one would want.
Got an excess of old office supplies? Pads of paper, file folders, pencils and markers? A teacher at a local school will probably be able to put all of that to good use. A retirement community would likely be very grateful for your stacks of magazines.

  • Ask.

While you may have much more than you need, someone who isn’t able to provide for their family may live right next door. According to this article in Forbes, nearly half of Americans could have trouble paying $400 for an emergency. Let friends know what you’re getting rid of and ask if they know someone who might be able to use it.

  • Call for pickup.

If you have a lot of stuff and you are ready to let it go, there are several Bay Area organizations that will come and take it away. Here is a short list:
          St. Vincent de Paul – 650-871-6844
The Salvation Army – 800-958-7825
Store locations
Ecumenical Hunger Program – 650-323-7781
United Cerebral Palsy – 800-423-9350
PARCA – 877-997-2722
           You can also get individuals who are interested in picking up free stuff through:

  • Ask On The Move to help!
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