A huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out and participated in the first Free Clothing Exchange of 2015!
Saturday, January 3rd, marked the clothing exchange's 2-year anniversary with the biggest and best exchange to date - serving over 120 individuals overall. The doors opened at 3:30pm to a line of eager exchangers that stretched past the Kenton Library's check out desk and nearly to the front door on Denver Avenue.
51 households came through the doors and donated, exchanged or just found something that suited their fancy in just the first 50 minutes. We don't have the hard data on this, but we may have set some sort of clothing exchange land speed record.
Serving this many folks in such a small window of time and space would never be possible without all the helpful feedback we've received in the past about how we can make the quarterly clothing exchanges even better. Heath Cloutier, the Program Coordinator for the Free Clothing Exchange, and small but merry band of volunteers set about putting your feedback into action. Over the past two Free Clothing Exchanges we have made a number of changes based on the feedback of Friendly Exchangers and what we've noticed as we help facilitate the event more fun, friendly and efficient.
So what was different?
- No More Hard-to-Sort Piles of clothes. All clothing Donations are now hung neatly on racks.
- Better Crowd Management. The first hour of the exchange can be quite busy and crowded. We found that if we limited the number of exchangers in the room at a time the experience was a more cordial one for everyone, and for those of you who waited so patiently to get in we really appreciate you!
- Donors Now Hang and Sort Their Own Donations. We get more donations than our small crew of volunteers can sort and hang during each event, so we asked you, our wonderful donors, if you could sort and hang your donations before browsing for new clothes. You did and it made a huge difference in how smoothly the exchange went. Thank you!
Look for even bigger improvements in store for April's exchange as we pray for and seek out a larger space that can better accommodate your fast-growing Free Clothing Exchange in North Portland! More space means more options for your friendly exchange and more options means a better experience overall for more friendly exchangers like you.
The Kenton Library and its staff have been so amazing, hospitable and accommodating over these last two years. We are so grateful for their support from the get go. Thank you!