The idea for the project [LendAround] came about when Tim returned home to London after visiting a network of community groups helping vulnerable children in Africa. Looking around his home, Tim noticed how much stuff we all seem to have that doesn’t get used very much — at a time when there are a billion people in the world who have not very much at all, and when it would be good to use a bit less of the earth’s resources.
I’ve been thinking about what I can do differently in 2010 and have also been reflecting on things people have said and shared with me in 2009. I’ve been inspired by some – for example, Tim Jackson’s story of his project, LendAround:
Tim’s mission is huge, yet simple. And applicable to many of us, as we have so much stuff. While LendAround is focused on DVDs, it got me thinking about the loads of old stuff I keep hoarding – dresses and coats that I keep in case I get a little skinnier or fatter or find that perfect occasion to wear it again. Yet time passes, and that garmet keeps collecting dust. Or those hardcover books that I rushed to buy and have since been filling shelves. Or those zillions of CDs I used to buy. I’ve taken things to consignment or to Goodwill, but I’ve also given away things to friends and acquaintances and felt delighted to see their joy in getting something they wanted for free.
I’ve also been inspired by the generosity of strangers in the Internet – @steamykitchen, a person I met through Twitter, sent me a book for free, as well as some of her homemade chutney, which was to die for. I’ve won a $50 gift certificate from @wipeoutmarin and I met up with one of my musical idols, Thomas Dolby, when he saw my Facebook update explaining I’d just arrived in London and discovered the conference I was planning to attend was suddenly canceled and was thus looking to revise my schedule.
So my plan in 2010 is to give away 365 items in 2010. I don’t know if anybody will want what I’m giving away, so if there are no takers, I’ll save them up for Goodwill. Otherwise, I’m hoping to keep our postman busy by delivering things to strangers in the hopes that I’ll end 2010 a karma-rich individual.