Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap: Oct 26th!

Kids’ Winter Wear Swap
Saturday, Oct 26th • 9:30-11am
Meekins Library • Williamsburg, MA

Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swaps the last two year! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity and civic organizations.

Hilltown Families is organizing an informal winter wear swap on Saturday, Oct 26th, 2013 from 9:30-11am. Families with kids of all ages can bring their outgrown winter wear to swap with other families in the area in the Community Room of the Meekins Library in Williamsburg! No need to buy new when we can reuse and swap with your friends & neighbors! Free and open to families with children of all ages.

The Meekins Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. If you only have donations, these are welcomed at 9am the day of the swap. For more information, questions or wanting to help out as a volunteer, contact Hilltown Families at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Mark Your Calendars: Another swap coming up in December is the Hilltown Families 4th Annual Board Game Swap: Saturday, Dec. 7th, 2013 from 9:30-11am, also in the community room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA! Puzzles and card games welcomed.  Leftover games to be donated to the Meekins Library Holiday Market.

Halloween Costume Swap & Kids’ Winter Wear Swap: Oct 13th!

2 Swaps. 1 Day.
Oct 13th • 9:30-11am
Meekins Library • Williamsburg, MA

Hilltown Families has organized two informal community swaps to happen on one day! On Saturday, Oct 13th, 2012 from 9:30-11am families with kids of all ages can bring their outgrown winter wear and Halloween costumes (& props) to swap with other families in the area in the Community Room of the Meekins Library in Williamsburg! No need to buy new when we can reuse and swap with your friends & neighbors! Free and open to families with children of all ages.

Halloween Costume Swap

You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume Swap and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year!  Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse.

Kids’ Winter Wear Swap

Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity.

The Meekins Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9)in Williamsburg, MA.  Both swaps are free and open to all families. If you only have donations, these are welcomed at 9:30am the day of the swap.  Leftover winter wear, costumes & props will be donated to charity and civic organizations.

For more information, questions or wanting to help out as a volunteer, contact Hilltown Families at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Mark Your Calendars: Another swap coming up in December is the Hilltown Families 3rd Annual Board Game Swap: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012 from 9:30-10:30am, also in the community room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA! Puzzles and card games welcomed.  Leftover games to be donated to the Meekins Library Holiday Market… and new this year, we’re accepting incomplete games to donate to the Northampton Arts ReUse committee.

11 Suggestions on How Western MA Families Can Make Wise Back-to-School Purchases

Americans spent $7.7 billion at family clothing stores in August 2011! When shopping for back-to-school clothes for this upcoming school year, how can Western MA families make wise purchases? Share your thoughts/ideas…

Lissie Fein asks, “Where are some recommended places to buy children gym shoes/sneakers?” Share your recommendations! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

  • Jean Engel writes, “Start with the summer clothes that are on sale at all the stores. It will stay rather hot well into October or sometimes November. Just make sure they have a new pair of shoes and a transitional jacket. Buy warmer clothing piece by piece as the next few weeks progress. It starves off the impulse buying you regret later.”
  • Kara Kitchen writes, “When my kids were younger and style did not matter as much, I would buy their clothes after the season was over for deep discounts in anticipation of next years needs. Online shopping when free shipping is offered is also a wise purchase when living in the Hilltowns and travel is a consideration+cost! Kids who don’t like to shop at the mall, try on clothes, or wait in lines often like catalogs/websites to browse…  Stores like Land’s End (great quality guarantees for rough+tumble kids) and Old Navy (great for babies+mom to look stylish for cheap) make returns to your local store wicked easy. But our favorite wise clothing option is hand-me downs! Kids (surprises galore) and parents (free clothes/tax donation deduction) both win.”
  • Karen Hettlinger writes, “A clothes donation/ trading post.”
  • Heather Wrisley writes, “Consignment stores.”
  • Robin Morgan Huntley writes, “Organize a clothing swap with neighborhood families or your kids’ friends! And crafty older kids can modify old clothes to revamp them (and maybe make them fit!), or figure out how to navigate sewing patterns and make some stuff of their own! Beehive in Northampton offers hourly rates on sewing machines if you don’t have one at home.”
  • Catherine Snyder writes, “Rethreads in Shelburne Falls. Freecycle.”
  • Amanda Gadd writes, “There is a wonderful new children’s consignment shop on North St. in Pittsfield called Kidding Around Consignment. She’s got everything from maternity to tween and some fun handmade stuff.”
  • Jean Engel writes, “Another one in Adams for North County families… Experienced Attire on Park Street/next to the old Armory (across the street from the Library). Great consignments.”
  • Sue Lowery writes, “Salvation Army, Hospice Shop, Northampton Survival Center, Amherst Survival Center – and any consignment shops.”
  • Katryna Nields writes, “Also post on Facebook. people are also going to be getting rid of the clothes that don’t fit anymore.”
  • Erin Klett writes, “‎Hens & Chicks consignment in Greenfield!”
  • Lissie Fein writes, “Where are some recommended places to buy children gym shoes/sneakers?

13 Suggestions on What to Do with Tattered & Torn Clothes

Wondering what to do with old clothing that is ripped, stained or otherwise unable to donate/wear?

Melissa Weinberger of Easthampton writes, “I am about to throw a huge bag of old clothing into the garbage and wondering if there’s another way. We already use a lot of old t-shirts, etc. as rags, but this is stuff that seems headed for the landfill unless there’s another option.”

Thanks to Riché for recommending the short documentary, Secondhand (Pepe). “In this documentary about used clothing, the historical memoir of a Jewish immigrant rag picker intertwines with the present-day story of ‘pepe’ — secondhand clothing that flows from North America to Haiti. Secondhand (Pepe) animates the materiality of recycled clothes — their secret afterlives and the unspoken connections among people in an era of globalization.”

  • Jennifer Shiao Page writes, “I have the same conundrum, so am looking forward to hearing the ideas!”
  • Diane Kanzler writes, “Well, pure cotton and linen textiles can be composted. It takes awhile to compost, but it can be done. I’ve found it can take up to two years for cotton knits to compost fully, and often the nylon thread used to sew a cotton garment won’t compost and has to be pulled out of the compost. – The EPA has an interesting page on the topic of textile recycling: Textiles Common Wastes & Materials.
  • Susan Countryman writes, “If you sew you can repurpose the clothes into doll clothes, cool patches for jeans, throw pillows, etc.”
  • Michelle Harris Dzialo writes, “Give it to a quilter! All my grandmothers old quilts were made out of old clothing!”
  • Gillian Daley writes, “The Northampton DPW has special tags that you use on bags of textiles to be recycled, and the Salvation Army will take them. I don’t know if other towns have them as well but contacting the Northampton DPW is a good start.”
  • Jennifer Shiao Page writes, “But, does the Salvation Army want clothing that are “ripped, stained or otherwise unable to donate/wear?” I know that the Northampton Survival Center does not. I donate what I think is suitable, but what to do with the stuff that is not donation worthy?”
  • Gillian Daley writes, “Jennifer, the specially tagged stuff is recycled into other materials. They ask for the special tags so they are sorted separately from the wearable clothes.”
  • Riché J. Daniel Barnes writes, “I donate to Salvation Army and others because I know they give or sell it to other companies that process it into other stuff. There is a documentary about “rags” called Secondhand (Pepe) by a professor at Harvard.”
  • Maryellen Smith Rousseau wrties, “Give them to the Salvation Army. They take the items that are not saleable and give them to companies that recycle them into shop towels. Please, please don’t throw them away! We need to do everything we can to reduce what we are putting in the landfill.”
  • Arianna Alexsandra Grindrod wrties, “Doesn’t the Bag Share group use rags? Check with the Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington.”
  • Robin Morgan Huntley writes, “Braided rugs! Make one (or a few) for a space your kids play/create in- if they spill paint or jam clay into the rug, it won’t matter because it’s recycled. You can also make pillows and/or a quilt out of old clothes… also particularly effective when there are spill-y kids around.”
  • Kara Kitchen writes, “You can rip/cut into strips, tie together to make long rope and either crochet or braid+stitch into braided rag rugs or baskets/bowls.”
  • Sarah M writes, “Quilt! Then donate the quilts to a shelter or hospital! I use old clothes to put in the dog’s crate!”
  • Melissa Flanders writes,Freecycle?”

Q&A: Where to Find Maternity Clothes in Western MA

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Baby and Daisy

One of our readers, an expecting mother, is looking for places in Western MA to find maternity clothes. Any recommendations?

  • Ilyza Sarah Earle recommends:Hens & Chicks in Greenfield of course!”
  • Nancyjo Craig Rongner recommends: “Savers in West Springfield.”
  • Judy Bennett recommends: “Hens & Chicks in Greenfield carries consignment clothes for women and kids, including maternity.”
  • Jennifer Shiao Page recommends: “Salvation Army in Hadley. Second Chances in Amherst. Kids Kloset in Northampton. Many of my favorite maternity items were in fact *not* maternity clothes. I had two turtlenecks made of stretchy fabric, and with gathers along the side seams. Long blowy cardigan-style sweaters that you don’t have to close in front. TJ Maxx and Marshalls!”
  • Amber Shutt recommends:Kidstuff in Florence also has maternity clothes!!”
  • Mary Mayshark-Stavely recommends: “There is a consignment shop in Northfield that has a lot of things.”
  • Kaci Ruh recommends: “They carry some gently used maternity clothes at Kidstuff in Florence.”
  • Meg Lefkowitz recommends: “There is Motherhood in the Holyoke Mall. Burlington Coat Factory in that mall also has a selection.”
  • Deanne Forgea-Calvert recommends: “Gently used at Hens & Chicks in Greenfield.”
  • Marianne Bullock recommends: “Hens & Chicks.”
  • Marissa Tenenbaum Potter recommends: “And in Northampton Kids Kloset.”
  • Jaime Mailloux recommends: “Another place for gently used maternity clothes is the Kids Kloset in downtown Northampton. For new clothes, there is Motherhood Maternity (Holyoke Mall) and there are small sections in most stores (sometimes hard to find) such as JCPenny and Kohls.”
  • Karen Jaiclin recommends: “Old Navy had some affordable stuff (simple basics), but I think the Holyoke Mall one stopped carrying maternity- grr. Call to check, there may be maternity in Enfield? Or order online- I had good luck with that. Including swimsuits!”
  • Alyssa Pratt-Miranda recommends: “H&M has a small selection. There’s also The Gap and Target. If she’s open to used clothes, try Craigslist or Easthampton Mamas and post there. I had a lot of luck finding hand-me-downs!”
  • Melanie Courtemanche recommends: “The only Old Navy that carries maternity near here is South Windsor, CT.”
  • Sandra Dias recommends: “The Kid’s Kloset in the Maplewood Shops in Northampton has maternity clothes on consignment.”
  • Vicky George-Weimer recommends: “Motherhood at the Holyoke Mall, if it’s still there. Burlington Coat Factory has some decent stuff.”
  • Sandy Bailey recommends: “Hens & Chicks in Greenfield.”

[Photo credit: (ccl) Amber McNamara]

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