Giving back while helping others in need

Giving back while helping others in need

Empty binders taking up space on the shelf. Miscellaneous crafting supplies from an art elective. 

These items that sit unused by one student could find a new life and purpose in the hands of another. 

Many colleges and universities, including UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UCLA and UC Riverside, have “Buy Nothing” groups. Hundreds of these communities exist in California alone, mainly as private Facebook groups that cover one or two neighborhoods each. 

Per their website, the Buy Nothing Project describes the groups as a way for people to give and receive, share, lend and express gratitude through a worldwide gift economy network. 

In addition to a private Facebook group, Pierce College can have a small space on campus dedicated to “buy nothing” items for students to exchange. 

A small supply room on campus with school or basic home items in good condition can be a communal space to not only spend less money, but it also can cut down on waste.

The project could be run by a “buy nothing” club in which volunteers organize items that are donated and, later on, picked up.

When looking for a space to set up the project, empty, unused classrooms can be an option. 

The general rules of the project are explained in a Los Angeles Times article, by Ronald D. White—no buying, selling, trading, bartering or dumping unwanted things. 

Not everything has to turn a profit—yes, you can spend hours trying to sell some school supplies on Facebook Marketplace or Ebay for a few dollars, but you could also pass it on to another student and provide them with a small jump-start instead.