Neighbors help each other through swap party

When Jane Reinhardt-Martin lost her job last year, she came up with a way for neighbors to help neighbors in these tough economic times.

“I was home more, and I didn’t know most of my neighbors. So instead of waiting for a power outage to get to know your neighbors, I decided we need to have some kind of party,” said Reinhardt-Martin.

They call it a swap party– just bring anything you don’t want from your closet and take anything you like. No money is exchanged, just fellowship and snacks. Neighbors say the best part, though, is getting to know each other before there’s some sort of need.

“As we move towards the colder weather, and we get snow, we now know the different neighbors that lie in the neighborhood who may have infirmities, and they might need someone to come shovel their driveway, but they don’t have the money to pay someone,” said Barb Jordan.

That’s what the party is all about– connecting people.

“You may know your next door neighbors, but if you went down one block or two blocks or three, you know nobody… a lot of us are having tough times, and so let’s be proactive and get to know each other because neighbors are going to need to be helping each other,” Reinhardt-Martin said.

They may just be swapping old clothes, but it’s an exchange that means much more.

“Then you know you can rely on each other,” said neighbor Barbara Metsa.

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