Thursday, January 04, 2007

a strange new year's resolution

This article in Tuesday's Tribune fascinated me. Did anyone one else catch it?

S.F. group enjoys shopping sabbatical - Yahoo! News

It's about a group of friends in S.F. who, in order to challenge the consumerism of their own lives, make a "Compact" together to avoid buying anything new in 2006 except food, essential toiletries and health and safety products. I guess they pulled it off and some of them are going for it again in 2007.

I saved the article and read it to my kids this evening at the tail end of our family reading time. I said, "I'd like to try this for a week or a month." Susie said, "I think we should try it for 3 months!" We agreed to discuss it more this week and then make a decision and draw up some guidelines and start date next weekend. Anyone want to join us?

As we talked about it, I thought again about my idea of a "Grace Beg, Borrow & Buy Network" . . . a place within the church family to off load (give them away or sell them at a fair price) your unwanted items to others who might need them. You know. . . sort of an internal Craig's List. I'm serious about this and I'm looking for someone to make this happen. There's got to be a google app or some other social networking site that can help us pull this off. Maybe a simple forums app would work.

There would have to be a disclaimer. . . "Grace SLO is not responsible for deals gone awry. Please use responsibly and at your own risk, etc. etc.

There would have to be rules of use.

Acts 2:44-45 could be the theme verse . . .

And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Here are some broad categories:
  • Freebies: for good stuff you're looking to offload to a good home.

  • Perfectly Good & Cheap: for good stuff you're willing to sell . . . cheap.

  • Looking to Borrow: for those who need to borrow a power tool or something.

  • Willing to Lend: I've got one of those luggage racks that fits in the back of your trailer hitch. You can't break it and I'd love to loan it. For stuff like that . . .
  • Help Needed: for those home projects where you could use a few extra hands.

  • Services for Sale: for business owners in the church to inform others of the services/products they sell.
We'd have to password protect or something, but there's got to be a way.

We need this. This is a great and creative way to practice and model "life together" . . . vibrant Christian community. I think it would be an awesome means to meet some needs of others outside the church community as well. . . friends, neighbors and folks we know.

Susie said I can spend 1 hour vision casting but I am forbidden from getting involved in the nuts & bolts. She's right. . . again! I figure I have about 45 minutes left on that clock after this post.

Until someone gets it going, I'm going to start listing all our unwanted stuff right here. Bloggers privilege . . .

We've got a double breast pump for $100 OBO (talk about offensive!) and a baby exersaucer for $50 OBO. Anybody looking for these things? Drop me an email. I'll try and post some pictures in the next week.

10 comments:

Jeannett Gibson said...

I did see that article, and was also intrigued by it. How often do I go to Target, spend $75 and then could not for the life of me recite all the items I bought a week later. (Although much of it is toiletries)...

I think the Grace Classifieds idea is a great one...sadly, I'm not quite computer savvy enough to try and put it together. Hopefully we can find someone who can help out. We have a few things we would love to get rid of too!

Brian Wong said...

Use your new CMS!!! You've got it; you might as well use it. Or maybe your ACS. But you're right, a forum would probably be the best choice for hosting a solution like that.

BTW, I can't volunteer to do it. Being 250 miles away doesn't make for a good opportunity to do so.

Andy Gibson said...

Hmmm...I remember you bringing this up in the past, and I have thought about it on my own as well....I decided a Forum would be best.

Do I have the time....I'll contemplate it.

Josh Mock said...

If you want to go the forum route, you can set up a free message board with ProBoards. It's free, paid for by a little bit of Google ads at the top of each page. I've never set one up personally, but I know friends who have. Apparently it's pretty easy to manage. The trick is getting people to use it.

Stephanie said...

I think it's a great idea and maybe it could also be used when people need a ride out of town.

Lisa Lewis said...

We have long been appalled by our consumerism and actively work against "new" purchases and live by if something new comes in something else has to leave. I know our family would use the posting for the church family for sure. Sorry that I have neither time nor skill. Perhaps after Colin returns from Sri Lanka....

Ryan MacConnell said...

I agree with Brian about the CMS. If DNN (DotNetNuke) has a free auction module it might be worth using. It would be nice if we could start standardizing on a few technologies. Unfortunately knowing what we will need in the future when chosing techonologies is often difficult to forcast and takes more time then just getting the current job done. Since I, like everyone else, feel like I have no spare time I'll keep my mouth shut on this issue.

When I get some free time (lol), I'll take a look into what the DNN options are.

Travis Thompson said...

its this kind of stuff that really makes me miss Grace... (and SLO in general)

Anonymous said...

I'm not a member of your church, but would love to retire to SLO and stumbled across your blog. If you go to www.freecycle.org, you might be able to find a Freecycle group that already does what you're talking about in your area. Some of these are set up as Yahoo groups. There's even a reference on the site to the article you're talking about.

erika said...

Tim, this is the idea I've been thinking about. I do read your blog, I thought pretty consistently, but I guess I checked out for a time. Anyway, I completely missed this one! I am a big fan of Craig's List, and lately I've been on the computer more regularly reading the blogs that friends are starting up. It occurred to me that our church should do this! I've been talking to friends about this idea, and more than one person said, "Didn't Tim say something like that?" I decided to back track and see if I could find this post. So anyway, I am volunteering! These are great ideas. I also had some additional ideas. But sign me up. This is my passion and I would love to make it work. Let me know how you've been thinking about it lately.