Swap for Good!

Photo of Swap for Good

So this is not quite beauty-related (except for how, in my world, everything becomes beauty related) but it’s very awesome, so just go with it. I just heard from these two cool San Francisco-based ladies, Orli Cotel and Brianna Cayo Cotter, who have decided to take the recession-fueled clothing swap trend to the next level with their new nonprofit Swap For Good.

Here’s how Orli describes the project.

Swap for Good is a grassroots, volunteer-led campaign to encourage people to host clothing swaps, and collect donations at the door to raise critical funds for local domestic violence shelters. For our pilot project this past spring and summer, we’ve had over 40 events around the country.

Here’s how it works: You sign up to host a swap and invite some friends to bring a bag of clothes, and some money to chip in for your local shelter. Everyone gets new free stuff, saves money on shopping, and contributes funds so that shelters can offer life-saving services during this recession. Each host chooses the shelter that her swap will raise money for and sends the money directly to the shelter, so there are no overhead costs and 100% of the money raised goes to the cause. Hosts sign up on our site so that the world can see how many people are taking action to help stop domestic violence.

Why is domestic violence their chosen cause? Fun facts: 1 in 4 women will be beaten or raped by a partner in their lifetime. Domestic violence is three times more likely to occur when couples are facing high financial strain. 3 out of 4 domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008.

Adds Orli:

A recent study that was just released in March by the National Network to End Domestic Violence showed that in just one day, 9,280 requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding – so this is a crucial time to help this important cause and save women’s lives. During the recession, demand for help has been on the rise, while funding is disappearing. Brianna and I have organized this as volunteers – Swap for Good has no paid staff & no office, so all the money raised goes to the cause.

If you’re shy about hosting, you can also find a swap near you and just invite yourself. And since October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, now would be a fine and dandy time for you to get involved.

[Photo: Clothes swapping awesomeness in San Francisco, courtesy of Swap for Good.]

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Swap for Good!

  1. Some of my most complimented pieces of clothing are things I’ve gotten at “Swap”! Great idea, lots of fun!

  2. anne

    Can’t say enough about my own family swap…food, fun, plenty of laughs and maybe a new outfit or two!

    Just thinking….we have a holiday “open house” each year for friends and neighbors. We have collected canned goods and children’s books in the past to donate to local pantry’s and shelters. Would it be odd to asked for a bag a gently used clothing for donation? Just wondering…….

  3. LOVE THIS, am completely going to do it. Just need to choose a Saturday…. anyone live in Boston and want to partake?!!

  4. This is a great idea! We’re also doing free swaps in NW Oregon and SW Washington. If you know any women in our area, they can check out http://swappositive.wordpress.com/ and join one of our free swaps. Our clothing is donated to the local PTA clothing closet, local women’s shelters, church/community clothing closets, and other places that will give the items away for free (not sell them). We Swappers get cleaner closets, new stuff, have fun, help the environment, and help others – all for free:)

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