Winnipeg's Giveaway Weekend: Take it to the Curb!
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Giveaway Weekend Is Coming Soon!
Giveaway weekend is fast approaching in Winnipeg, Manitoba! The next one takes place on SATURDAY, Sept. 6th and SUNDAY, Sept. 7th. This is the weekend after the Labour Day long weekend.
What happens on giveaway weekends? Literally, the whole city is one big "giveaway," and anyone can go anywhere in the city and receive free stuff.
Twice a year, residents of Winnipeg are allowed to leave their unwanted things on the curb. Starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, and ending at 7 p.m. Sunday, there are two days of a literal "free-for-all," as declutterers hope and pray someone will want their unwanted junk!
Givers are asked to mark anything that they are giving away as "free," and to make sure that the items are not damaged or dangerous. In return, takers are asked to drive safely, and only take items marked free, and on the curb.
I, as a resident Winnipegger, have attended three of these giveaway weekends, and think they are such an amazing idea! I love giveaway weekend!
A Cluttered Space
During this special event, people are free to drive around, and see what treasures they can find. The people picking up the items do not have to ask permission, or even talk to the home owners. They are simply free to take what is given away.
Other than those few ground rules, the field is wide open, and anything and everything goes! From small items (clothing, C.D.'s, knick-knacks) to large-scale items (furniture, appliances, even kitchen cupboards!), there is no limit to what might be found at a giveaway weekend. Organizers do ask that bedding items such as beds or bedding not be put out, because of the danger of bedbugs.
Planned as an Ongoing Tradition
Giveaway weekend started in Winnipeg in September 2009, and is planned as an ongoing tradition. There is a Facebook page devoted to it, where givers and takers can advertise their products, and also make requests for what they are looking for.
It is organized by the city's Water and Waste Division, and has been started to help cut down on landfill waste.
Videos from Giveaway Weekend
Is the Idea Catching On?
I think Giveaway Weekend is a wonderful idea, and every city should adopt some sort of similar policy for allowing people to give away their unwanted items.
I know of one town, Strathmore, located in Alberta, Canada that has a giveaway site at their landfill which open every day. People drop off unwanted items, and other pick them up. This is an excellent way of reducing waste, and apparently some individuals wait all day to get some of the "good stuff." I do not know how many other towns or cities have similar sites, but it's something that I hope catches on.
Freecycling groups are another way that people give away their things. Groups are established across the US and Canada where individuals may advertise things they need, or things to give away.
It is better to give than receive, and it is also better to give than to throw away. Giving our things away is a way to create community, and puts everyone on an even playing field for one day. It also helps encourage us to declutter, and not keep unwanted items that just take up valuable space in our home. So, go out and give and take, this giveaway weekend!