Assignment #2 Week of May 19

Dear Division 16,

Oh goodness, I think you’re going to like this one.

Please read the article and watch the video here about the East Side Free Store:

After you’ve read it, please answer the following question:

What effect (positive or negative) do you think a store like this would have on a neighbourhood or on the world?

I look forward to your responses!




  1. Scarletcat

    I think that if every neighbourhood had a free store it would be a great way to reuse clothes, books ext., it would also reduce trash from all the items that are thrown out every day. If people can’t afford clothes or shoes they can go to the free store and get something that fits and keeps them warm. Less people would be cold and people could have things to call their own property. I also think that people would be happier with that store close by, the store would give them comfort, belonging, and safety to know that they will always have warmth and shelter from the free store.

    • dickensdiv16

      Scarletcat, I think you’ve hit on two of the main benefits of a store like this: reducing trash and helping people get the things they need. I like your last sentence a lot – it’s speaking to the concept of “security” that we talked about in the Me On The Map project – knowing that things like comfort, belonging and safety are available in one’s community really does lead to happiness. I wonder what you think could be done to the free store to help it be more effective at reaching its goals?

  2. fireboltseer21345

    I think that this free store was a good idea but I wonder how Julia could pay for the building where the free store is. I think that this store will also probably reduce some trash because something like an old sweater in a park which would probably end up in the landfill could instead go to the “Free Store” šŸ˜‰ I think that this store could also be super helpful for people who can’t afford to buy clothing, toys etc. I bet homeless people could use it to. ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ ā¤ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰ šŸ˜‰

  3. ginger

    I think that free stores are a very good idea. They are a way of reducing unwanted items and helping people who may not be able to afford to buy at stores. I think that free stores should be established in many different neighbourhoods of cities to provide items of use and pleasure. If more of these stores were established in more locations, I think that a different type of community would be started because people donate and receive at the same location and get to know each other. It also opens more options for less fortunate people because it provides new resources. For example, someone might find nice clothes for a job interview that they really needed to look their best for. This type of store can help many people get rid of old possessions or gain new ones.

    • dickensdiv16

      Ginger, I like that you see this store as a community building opportunity, and that you identified that having access to certain things like clothes for a job interview can make a real difference to someone. I also loved that you identified that not everything in the store was practical, that some things were whimsical and for pleasure!

  4. PointyHedgeHog11

    I think the free store is a brilliant idea. I know I have a lot of items I would probably throw away but with the free store I could donate them . I feel that this is aimed to be something like the food bank , were people who can’t make enough money to support there family’s can come and get essential things like clothes.
    I , personally would have a lot of fun shopping there.

  5. Doctor Pineapple

    I think that this store is a great way for people who cant afford some items they may want or need. It’s also a smart way to get people to stay local when searching for things they need instead of buying from big companies. When you get things from the shop you know that it’s recycled and has been used before so it may not be in it’s best shape but hey, it’s free so you can’t really complain. There could also be a few problems associated with this store like that there might not always be the things that you want in there when you visit because it’s pretty random in terms of product. Also, (hopefully this doesn’t happen) some times people might think of it as a place just do get rid of garbage, which is still technically donating, but sometimes it might not work. I think that this place is a great way to help people in a community that is struggling sometimes to feel like there part of something great.

    • dickensdiv16

      Doctor Pineapple, the point about staying local and stopping the need to continually purchase new items is an important one. I hope that people making donations would keep in mind that the free store is not for profit and be thoughtful about what they donated. Along with Ginger, you picked up on an important part of this article: the opportunity for donators and shoppers alike to be part of something meaningful in the community.

  6. vid3o g@m3r

    I think that free stores everywhere in the world would have a positive effect on everyone. So many people miss out on the comforts of life: beds, cushions, warm clothes. Instead, they have to take the second-hand alley. If everyone got all of those comforts, it would be a victory for everyone. And nobody will have to sleep on the ground and be cold in the winter.

  7. coolschoolscout

    I think a store like this could benefit our communities in many ways. For one, it could be a great place to donate things to others, because if we donate things and take things, it would basically be like a trading store. People who are in need of something to make them better would be another reason to have a store like this. People who are homeless could maybe have special accessibility to comfort items like beds or warm clothes, so everyone is warm during the winter. If we had many places like this, everyone will have equal access to things they need or want.

    • dickensdiv16

      Coolschoolscout, I like your focus on how donating and receiving is a balance. I wonder if this store or other places that provide free support for people have different policies during the winter.

  8. Jr.fruitcake

    I think that the Free Store would have a huge positive effect on our community. I mean there are lots of people who need the things in the E.V. Free Store and there’s never a shortage of no longer used stuff. Plus, like Higgs was talking about all the stuff in the Free Store would go to the landfill if not for the Free Store so its helping the environment as well.
    I have many questions about the Free Store and about Higgs but the one that stands out for me is: obviously the Free Store is a non profit organization so how does Higgs live with no money but the donations she receives?
    I don’t Know but she’s happy about it and it is helping , then I say bring it on.

    • dickensdiv16

      I wondered about that as well. Perhaps we could ask her to take a look at our blog and possibly answer our questions. You’re right though, there is no shortage of things that we aren’t using, but that could be meaningful or essential to someone else!

  9. petrinied4000

    I don’t think that a free store is very good for the economy. If you want to give something away a better option would be a thrift store like the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army takes things you don’t want and sells them. Then they give most of their money to charity. I think that is more useful because although you can get things like clothes for free at a free store, you can’t get food or a house.

    • dickensdiv16

      Petrineid4000, you always bring an important and unique point of view to our blog discussions. I wonder whether the free store sees itself as a charity, or imagines their work in the same way. I also wonder about what kind of place would help with the provision of food and shelter, and what would be the most effective model for that!

  10. who gets money

    i think in some neighbourhoods with poor people in it it is a good idea but if you put it in a rich neighbourhood kids will just take the stuff and probably not use it or even just break it because they just don’t need it and don’t get that other people do because all there life they have lots of money to buy stuff you really can’t blame them. but in poor neighbourhoods these free shops really keep lots of people warm and happy.


    • dickensdiv16

      Who gets money, I agree that different people have different relationships with stuff, and I wonder who the primary “customers” are at the Free Store. Is it poor or homeless people, or is it also frequently folks who are looking to consume less or reuse more in their lives. Interesting!

  11. Cool Sketcher

    I think the free store would have a very positive effect on our urban environment because it helps from different objects from going into the landfill and it could also help homeless people on the streets


    I think that this is a great idea and it would have good effect in about any neighborhood in the world. It would be great for some families who can’t get any presents for there kids on holidays or kids can go there and get something for there parents if they have no money and still be nice.

    • dickensdiv16

      THE_MOST_AWESOME_PERSON3710, thank you for bringing this point up, that the original aim of the Free Store was around Christmas time, with a focus on reducing consumption at the holidays. A friend of mine recently held a gift exchange with her family where all gifts had to be reused or recycled. I hope this kind of thing catches on!

  13. Theawesomest

    I think that this will have a big impact for people who dont have enough money to shop at regular stores where you have to pay. I think we should get free stores all around the world!

  14. Mario02

    I think this store will be very useful for those familys who cannot afford to buy brand new shirts and ties and other things. This store would provide all those stuff and if people would donate not torn but in Good shape things then it can bring a big impact upon Vancouver. It would also be very helpful to the homeless you do not need to have money you just need to have a smile and come in and take whatever suits you! If we have lots of these stores Vancouver they would be lots of help to those familys who need these free things.

  15. balloongirl123

    I think a free store would be really good for neighbourhoods because some people don’t have enough money to buy new clothes. So this store will be very helpful because now they can get clothes that are in good shape and use able.

  16. lightningboy123

    I think that its a good idea to have a free store because people that cant afford the things they need because they don’t have enough money to buy what they. the people that don’t have homes can come in the free store to get a back pack or clothing to use.

  17. reader

    I like the idea of the free store, and I was thinking what if someone just walked in and took every single thing they could carry. now, that would be a problem but it’s not likely to happen because most of the people on the east side are very friendly, and the people that have barely any money can come walking in to get something that they need. (eg. A backpack, shirts, shoes, socks ect.) I really like the idea of the free store.

  18. cheese curds

    i think the free store isint good for big buisness people but its great for a comunity who need culture but i dont see how that woman in the video makes money? this place is rilly good for the homeless because you donte need money to go in thare

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