It’s likely that there will be no Really Really Free Market in December. However, those of you who want to give and receive with your community for the holidays can go to the basement of the Downsview Library on Saturday, December 12th. The Toronto Tool Library will be holding an Alternative Gift Fair at their Downsview Library branch. Bring 3 or more items that are in ‘giftable’ condition (new or lightly used) and you can exchange them for the same number of goods that others in the community have brought. Everything is accepted, even offers of services such as cooking lessons. Instead of buying more gifts this Christmas, you can share in what your community already has! The Tool Library will also have their 3D printer available so you can even make your own gift if you know how. The event runs from 10 am to 3pm.
We have mentioned before that the North York Really Really Free Market cannot accept large items. By ‘large’, we mean anything that would require a car or truck to take away. In addition to these, we also have difficulty accepting car seats and baby strollers. There are many regulations associated with these. For car seats, Health Canada’s Industry Guide to Second-hand products (including children’s products state (these refer to second-hand car seats for sale but also apply to those being given away):
- A company may apply the National Safety Mark on a car seat or booster seat on condition that the product conforms to all the applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
- The product must have stitched onto it, indelibly moulded into or onto it, or indelibly printed on a label affixed to it in a permanent manner, the following, in English and French:
- name and address of manufacturer, importer or retailer
- model name and number
- date of manufacture
- statements for weight and height range of user
- characteristics of vehicles in which the product is not to be used
- warning statements
- installation diagrams
- The instructions, in English and French, for proper installation and use must be available at the time of sale.
- All forward-facing car seats must have a tether strap.
- All car seats must have a functional restraint system (harness system).
- The product should be in good condition. For example, there should be no cracks in the plastic, missing hardware or loose parts.
- Never sell a car seat or booster seat if it has been in a vehicle at the time of a collision.
- Car seats should not be sold if they are past the lifespan recommended by the manufacturer.
The regulations governing car seats changed on Jan. 1st, 2012, which is why the date of manufacture is required. Legally, car seats made before that date can neither be sold nor given away. If your car seat can meet these requirements above then please feel free to bring it but we ask that you leave your contact information with a volunteer in case no one takes your item.
Earlier today, two officers from 31 Division dropped off some office supplies and teddy bears at the Driftwood Community Centre. Thank you! However, next time please just drop off goods during the market day. Driftwood Community Centre does not have the capacity to store donations for us. (For that matter, neither do we.) At the end of the market day we will be transporting whatever hasn’t been taken to donation sites.
By the way, if anyone has a car, van or bike with a trailer and can help transport goods at the end of the day then please send us an email (email@example.com). We volunteers have no vehicles of our own so we’ll have to transport leftovers by hand.
Five days until we open and we can’t stop thinking about all the cool stuff you guys are going to bring! There’s no way to know what will be at the market but we hope somebody brings some nice tarps or tablecloths. Why? So we can lay out all the nice things you guys bring! We’re borrowing some from the downtown Really Really Free Market but we’d like some of our own. So here’s hoping!
You’re excited to be going to North York’s first Really Really Free Market but you’re not sure what you can bring. First of all, you don’t need to bring anything to take anything but thank you for wanting to contribute. Think about what you have in your home. If you’re like most people, you have far more than you need and there will be quite a few items that you’ve barely used or have never used at all. For example, when was the last time you wore that yellow shirt? Have you even opened that box of commemorative plates you got from your uncle last Christmas? These are the kind of things that typically end up in a closet or piled in a garage. Well, if it’s in good condition then there’s probably somebody out there who could use it. The Really Really Free Market tries to connect the people who have these things to the people who want them.
But then this hypothetical person may ask, why don’t they just sell or donate this item? They certainly could; the Really Really Free Market also exists to show people how a ‘giving’ or ‘gifting’ economy can work. Not everything is about money and knowing that whoever receives your item has true need of it can be rewarding in itself. In addition, the potential of actually meeting the person who receives your item can be even more rewarding for the giver.
However, please use common sense with the items you bring. We can’t accept large items because 1) you probably wouldn’t be able to get it into the Driftwood Community Centre, and 2) somebody would need either a van or truck to take it away, and the chances of both conditions being met are slim. Since we have no way of storing items this can be very problematic for us. Also, please only bring items that are in a condition that you yourself would take. Would you take a broken toaster? How about a dress covered in cat hair? And please, no matter how clean it is, no one will take used underwear.
With that being said, here are some item suggestions:
- men’s, women’s, and kids’ clothes
- books, CDs, DVDs, and other media
- household goods
- sports equipment
- non-perishable food items
- health and beauty products
If you have any skill that you would like to share then please do so, but let us know about it beforehand so we can tell market-goers and arrange a space for you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what you’d like to do and anything you’ll need and we will get back to you ASAP.