One of my favorite Facebook groups is Mamas Helping Mamas. Linked up are 7 offshoot groups and thousands of Portland Mamas. The original, linked above, is a place to ask for and offer free services and favors. The offshoots are to ask for and offer free items, food, garden sharing, and classes along with an exercise buddies group and a feel good group as well. (They are all listed as secret so you must join the original group and follow the guidelines before being added to the offshoots.)
Everyone loves free stuff of course, but I feel this type of networking is so important in our now highly digital lives. We were becoming so detached with all of our things. Time to use technology to link up and share resources. Build community. There is so much new baby stuff being created it’s nauseating. I recieved clothing my son wore once or less! Also, not being stressed for money is a wonderful thing when you are expecting a child. I was confident I could, would, and will have mainly used items and spend almost nothing on clothing and toys. Also, trading services and skills takes the money exchange out, just make sure you give fully and give what you feel comfortable. I have donated hair styling services and have gotten back so much. Sometimes in the form of a new client and sometimes just paying it forward.
So if you aren’t in Portland I would still recommend checking out http://www.mamashelpingmamas.com/ Mamas Helping Mamas will soon be a national group and there you will find info to help you get one started in your area. Is this something that could benefit your community? How about a free store? A naked lady/baby party? (no one is naked, it’s a clothing swap when you’re feeling naked!) What are some of your ideas and things you have seen done well? Please share in comments!