It’s an Abundance Swap – Saturday 11/1/14!

Abundance SwapTampa Bay Time Bank Abundance Swap - a really, really free market
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Moccasin Lake Park, Clearwater, FL
2750 Park Trail Lane, Clearwater 33759 (N. of Drew St., E. of US 19, central Pinellas)

For more information or for Tampa Bay Time Bank members who want to volunteer, please contact Christina Bellamy.

Open to the General Public: noon – 4pm

Tampa Bay Time Bank Volunteers: 11am – 4:45pm

Today’s times call for a new kind of economics to address the changing needs of our community. The Tampa Bay Time Bank has created an event to do just that: Abundance Swap.

This Abundance Swap will be an activity where anyone can bring a gently used item or one in decent working order to Moccasin Lake Park on Saturday November 1, 2014. Those items will be on tables for display, and can be taken home for free. Bring something, take home something! We hope to have a wide variety of things like books and CD’s, electronics and parts, games, sports equipment, art supplies, clothing, kitchen and other household goods all available for anyone who wants it.

This is a wonderful way to clear out that closet, drawer or box in the garage, and walk away with someone else’s goodies. One person’s trash in another’s treasure.

What: First Annual Abundance Swap, sponsored by the Tampa Bay Time Bank

Where: Moccasin Lake Park, Clearwater FL  

When: Saturday November 1, 2014, noon – 4pm

Who: anyone who wants to participate in these creative exchanges

Why: de-clutter your home, get some good stuff, meet like-minded others

Tampa Bay Time is a community skills exchange, also known as a Time Bank. We offer what we do well and ask for help with what we need. We work for social justice while expanding our circle of friends. All are welcome.

Time Banking is a social change movement based on five values:

  • Assets: we are all assets.
  • Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price.
  • Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
  • Social Networks: We need each other.
  • Respect: Every human being matters


Materials needed for donation:

1. Items to donate: items in good working order, ‘gently used’. (ideas to get you thinking)   Be saving gently used clothing, children’s stuff, household/kitchen stuff, electronics parts, leftover house paint, companion animal items, games (make sure they are playable), toys, tools, books, art supplies, craft supplies (esp. good for teachers, homeschoolers). Broken crayons ok, used pencils ok. Crafters can use an old dress to cut up fabric. If clothing is not wearable, take off buttons & put them in jar; someone may use them. Shoebox of empty pill containers w/labels off ok; can use for beads, seeds, etc. Pieces of wood leftover from a project ok. Parts of things such as computer cords, phone case, bowl for mixer ok, as people tend to repurpose that kind of item.

No: food, shoes, underwear, things broken beyond broken, stuffed animals that have been drooled on a lot, no cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. just to be safe.

2. Plastic bags and boxes for people to take away their finds, choices, scores and treasures.


Background information on Abundance Swaps

The Gift economy represents a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community.” – Charles Eisenstein, author of the Sacred Economics website.

Goals: build community, engage Tampa Bay Time Bank members with each other, recycle/reuse/repurpose goods, keep stuff out of waste stream, contribute to a creative new ecomony in Clearwater.

History: Abundance Swaps are events that began about 15 years ago in places like Ashland OR, Charlotteville VA, Bellingham WA, and Reno City NV. Most are annual, and held a few weeks before the winter holidays. Most seem to be about 3-4 hours duration for the general public.

How: Tables set up in a large hall; church, community center, library, etc. People arrive 30 minutes before the start of event and set their goods on the tables. Tables are organized by category, such as children’s toys, kitchen stuff, electronics, books/CD’s, clothes. Category signs are posted on each table. If item needs an explanation, it will have a note to go with it, or volunteers can explain. For our swap Tampa Bay Time Bank volunteers will wear nametags to build community and make connections.

Special categories: Artists/teachers/students projects: we could have a table of scraps of cloth, old crayons, yarn, papers, leftover greeting cards, buttons, wrapping paper remnants, etc. for crafters, scrapbookers, art projects, etc. Good for upcyclers and creative thrifters.

Another special category: computer parts, wiring assemblies, nails, broken lamps and the like for people to take home and use for their own repairs.

Fees: Usually no money changes hands at the event. Sometimes rent is charged for the venue, for which sponsoring organizations pay. A sponsoring organization can offer beverages or snacks for sale or donation to cover cost of renting the facility.

Potential problems: Early on, people worried that some would bring one item but then walk out with twenty. That probably sometimes happens, but apparently not often. Setting up general guidelines and posting with fliers at the site helps guide people to swap fairly. At the end of the event, people either take home their own stuff, or it will be taken to local thrift stores.

Other models:

Abundance Circles are not the same as an Abundance Swap, and are a pyramid scheme for women and which may include money levels.

Gift Circles, Gifting Circles: These are based on Eisenstein’s philosophies, and are similar to what we often do at time bank pot lucks regarding stating offers and requests. In the case of gift circles or gifting circles no goods change hands at these kinds of events.