A Fresh Exchange

Fresh Twist on Hanukkah

Amidst the gift-giving and consumerism of Hanukkah and “the holiday season,” this month’s action section focuses on getting more, needing less, and building community. By exchanging toys and other gifts with friends in your community, you can reduce resources, build community, and have fun!

The inspiration for this piece comes from a campaign organized by Canfei Nesharim friend Jessica Haller. She has created a project, Fresh Exchange, to share gifts and toys in her community. Earlier this year, a Kids Stuff Fresh Exchangewas organized at the Riverdale Jewish Center in New York.

The program’s goal is to “provide a fresh look at toys and clothes while reducing consumption, reusing within the community, and recycling to communities in need.” This is a toy exchange program at its best. At its core is the conceptof Fresh Stuff: “Fresh Stuff is in impeccable or new condition.  Fresh Toys work and have all their pieces.  Fresh Clothes are 100% clean and in perfect condition. You would feel good giving Fresh Stuff to your kid, your niece, your friend.”

After Hanukkah is the perfect time to look with your children at their toys and identify which they no longer need and are ready to share with others. And at the exchange, you might find some future Hanukkah or birthday gifts to put away for next time.

To organize your own Fresh Exchange

Choose a topic (toys, kids and babies clothing, house wares, women’s accessories)

  1. Choose a Venue (homes, schools, shuls, etc)
  2. Find charitable organizations to accept left over donations
  3. Choose a date and time (keep in mind noteworthy times of year)
  4. Invite people (emails, evite.com, flyers, and phone calls work best)
  5. Volunteer Opportunities (find people to help manage the event)
  6. Prior the Event (bring shopping bags, arrange tables and chairs, prepare donation box and sign in sheet)
  7. Event Agenda– 1- arrivals and mingling; 2 -introduce ‘Fresh Exchange’ and other useful environmental or social information; 3- exchange!