February 28, 2013
Also known as the "Free Community Clothing Swap" of Oak Harbor
By: Amy Hannold, WIMK Editor
It's coming -- and many Oak Harbor community neighbors know it. Have you been to a "Free Clothing Swap" yet? Get ready, the next one is Saturday, March 9th, 10 AM to 3 PM -- and it has moved to Oak Harbor Christian School (675 Whidbey Avenue, Oak Harbor).
For the past several years, Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Oak Harbor has hosted these events, also known as "The Great Oak Harbor Giveaway Day". Traditionally hosted twice-a-year, in March and September, these events serve everyone - and anyone who wants to find some "New to You" items, for free.
"The Great Oak Harbor Giveaway Day" is the bringing together of clean, usable clothing and small housewares -- with people to give those items new homes. In addition to "Free Shopping", the mission is serving the community. Anyone is welcome to this event, whether or not they have items to bring as donations.
Clothing for both genders, for all sizes, and accessories are welcome. A few years back, this event added garden produce, linens, small housewares and books to their offerings, as generous people in the community had them to donate. It's said that a walk through the room and you can make your place a home.
The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, now assisted by Oak Harbor's "The Heart of Giving", have spent the last couple of months collecting donations in anticipation of the event. Donations are collected ahead of time so that those cleaning their closets keep them clean and to give those who want to give, a place to give year-round. The North Whidbey area also has many people moving in and out of the area, so the VFW Auxiliary thanks PODS Northwest for supplying the storage space to take in donations when offered.
"The Great Oak Harbor Giveaway Day" is blessed with "annual volunteers", who like T.J. Harmon-Fisher say, "I wouldn't miss it!". They term it their as their "favorite days of the year", because of their experiences of making a positive impact in the lives of others.
Children attending the event are welcome to bring a book to trade, or look forward to choosing a new book, whether they brought anything to share or not as well. Youth groups, volunteers' children and students from around North Whidbey will also be at-the-ready to help come March 9th. They are put to work greeting, sorting and organizing -- so that the legacy of helping the community continues.
An event of this size and reach takes many volunteers. If you'd like to share a little bit of your weekend and remember it as time well spent, call (360) 675-2338. Volunteers are needed Friday, March 8th beginning at 2 PM, until the event is set up. On Saturday, greeters, sorters and general assistance will be needed. Anytime you'd like to stop by and help, for any length of time, would be appreciated. You'll make new friends, and probably become one of the "Annual Volunteers"!
During the "Free Clothing Swap", guests may bring their clean, usable donations. If you'd like to donate prior to March 8, bring your items to "The Heart of Giving's" 'Garage of Blessings", Monday and Fridays (10 AM to 3 PM) or Wednesday (12 PM to 5 PM). They are located at 640 Industrial Avenue, in Oak Harbor. Donations may also be brought to the VFW Post (3037 Goldie Road, Oak Harbor) from 11 AM to 7 PM, seven days a week.