Swap Helps the Community

winter swap DANVILLE -- While one coat drive has been running for over a decade in St. Johnsbury, Danville launched a similar affair named the winter gear swap this weekend. This one-day event was a part of the Winter Wellness Committee and was the first year Danville parents have used a clothing swap to raise money as well.

 Peacham resident Liza Cabot-Case came to the event and was looking to gear up for the winter. Cabot-Case said, "I was hoping to find a pair of cross country ski boots, size nine. But I don't see any."

Tracy Zschau, a member of the Winter Wellness Committee, said that they have more children's gear than the adults and the affordability is the key to success.

"Because kids outgrow stuff really fast so it's painful to buy a pair of skis and knowing they are only going to last your kids one year. So, this is a way to do that more affordably," said Zschau.

She also added, "it is expensive to outfit a whole family with skis, snowshoes, and helmets. So if we can clean out people's basements and get gear that kids have outgrown back out and affordable while raising a little money for the program, it will be a win-win situation."

Despite for the gear swap, the Danville School is joining other organizations and trying to provide warm clothing and equipment for the upcoming season.

"We do see an increase in that in this time of the year that when you have a child and realize that boots from last year aren't going to make it another season," H.O.P.E member Emily Buckley said. "Things like clothing swaps is gear for the community. When something is left over, people still want to put all the efforts towards the community."

After this event, 20 percent of the proceeds are going to the Winter Wellness Committee at the Danville School, which help the program to give students opportunities to experience winter sports. Also, the remaining gear will be donated to local charities.

"The rest we will likely donate to the community either to H.O.P.E or salvation army, and I don't think we will hold on to gear and we will do this all over against next year," said Zschau.

Buckley said, "I think either way it is a spirit of community, and I think a one day event certainly sparks that interest and also a reminder that we are here everyday."

Both the event volunteers and local residents said they were happy about having this event and hoping to have it in the future.

"This is a learning experience for us because we never have any swaps in Danville before. We are trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, even taking notes about it. Hopefully, we will do it next year, and do it differently and efficiently."

Cabot-Case wishes that she would know this information sooner so she would bought more things to swap.

"I always support events like this. I hope people can get together to get more things and swap more next year," said Cabot-Case.