Op-Ed: Amidst upheaval, neighbors offer up reassurance

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Never take sweet from a stranger, we’re advised. But what if that stranger can be a neighbor? And what if, as an alternative of sweet, it’s a batch of selfmade broccoli/cheddar/hen soup on a cool fall night? In the world of Buy Nothing, the reply could be a convincing “take it.”

A number of weeks in the past, I posted a few objects on my Facebook web page to present away: a set of colourful youngsters’s dominoes and a field of miscellaneous children’ musical devices. I had just lately began the divorce course of, and in anticipation of a potential transfer, I assumed I’d get a head begin on purging. I figured a pal with youthful children or one of many academics in my circle may be .

Shortly thereafter, I acquired a textual content from my pal Sharon who lives a number of blocks away. “Have you heard of Buy Nothing Sherman Oaks? It is a Facebook group of local people who are giving things away.”

I didn’t assume I used to be . I’m already in our neighborhood Nextdoor group, which provides me the within line on the most recent automotive break-in and the whereabouts of our resident peacock, Percy. And I’ve used Freecycle prior to now to go completely good objects ahead. But when nobody amongst my private Facebook mates took me up on my providing, I reconsidered and requested to affix the Buy Nothing group.

Within moments, the dominoes recreation, prepare whistles, drumsticks and recorders acquired a success. “My GF and I are both working from home with a 6 and 9 year old also homeschooling. Always looking for creative ways to keep them busy,” somebody named Kevin wrote.

“They’re yours,” I responded, maybe prematurely, as a result of quickly Karla chimed in. “Would love to be considered! I have a little one that loves setting up towers and knocking them down.” Then Shahrzad. “Interested for my twins!” But I had already dedicated.

Since that put up, I’ve gifted, amongst different issues, sparring gear, 5 baskets, a signed and framed Mel Ramos print of a unadorned girl on a cigar that I bought 20-plus years in the past, “Jeopardy!” swag, a field of plastic toy animals, academic place mats, new-with-tags Betsey Johnson bras and various shiny paper present baggage saved from a few years of birthdays.

Because I’m deacquisitioning, I haven’t spoken up to assert a lot. I did throw my identify within the hat for a stunning new blanket from Zazzle marred by two little imperfections. (Zazzle was sending the poster a brand new one.) I didn’t get it. I did, nonetheless, rating two baggage of just-picked ripe grapefruit from another person.

And when my son knowledgeable me that the version of “Dune” I had gotten him from the library was in Spanish — he had been eagerly anticipating studying it — I reached out on Buy Nothing to see if anybody had a duplicate to mortgage or give away proper now. An hour later, we went on a brief automotive experience to choose up “Dune” from the porch of a lady named Andrea. My son thought the entire thing a bit weird, borrowing a e-book from a complete stranger. But to me it was trendy magic, not fairly genie-in-the-bottle stuff, however nonetheless good: from those that should those that want.

There is that this draw back: having to decide on a “winner” when an merchandise garners a lot of Buy Nothing curiosity. Some posters on the location use a random identify generator to decide on. Or they ask respondents to guess their favourite shade. I’m nonetheless feeling unhealthy I didn’t have a Mel Ramos print for everybody who wished it. Still, I believe I’ll keep.

In the midst of a pandemic, within the midst of a divorce, Buy Nothing is reassuring. It is the nice aspect of humanity. Even if I used to be late to the celebration responding to the put up about Livia’s lovely, decadent-looking selfmade soup, and thus misplaced out to Azalia, simply realizing somebody had cooked from scratch after which supplied up the outcomes to 1,800 or so of her neighbors provides me hope that we are going to get by way of this, that I’ll get by way of this.

Leslee Komaiko is a author who lives in Sherman Oaks.

Leslee Komaiko – www.latimes.com

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