Two women from Mount Prospect have started a popular new way for parents to recycle gently used children's clothing and equipment and adult clothing and accessories, while helping families find items they need for free.
Swapadventure, now celebrating its 1st anniversary, is the creation of Angelika Babich and Maggie Pawelko. Each is a mom to three children under the age of 10. The pair organize free swapping events at Chicago area businesses twice a month. The only admission to each event is one shopping bag of items no longer needed to be added to the items for swapping. There is no swapping limit and attendess may take as much as they need.
Surplus swap items are donated to local organizations
Items left over at the events are donated directly to shelters and orphanages.
Swapadventure does not resell any of the items donated and ensures that the organizations receiving the remaining items do not resell them.
Babich and Pawelko say there is no membership fee to attend a Swapadventure event and never will be one. They created Swapadventure "simply to help others" and realized that many parents have items remaining in storage that could go to those in need.
In addition, they felt parents could benefit from swapping in a family friendly public place from trusted sources, rather than online through sources like Craigslist or Freecycle, while bringing their kids along.
Each event provides not only free items for kids and adults, but generally provides free admission for kids to the swap venue and recognition of local businesses in the community.
The only items not accepted are undergarments, clothing with stains or holes, and clothing with animal hair on it.
Attendance at each Swapadventure event ranges from 50 to 200.
How can local businesses help sponsor a Swapadventure event?
Businesses interested in sponsoring an event may contact Babich or Pawelka through the Swapadventure website.
The pair said they welcome products, giveaways, advertising with Swapadventure, and goodie bags for their attendees from local businesses.
Raffles are held and 2 costumed princesses appear at each event to meet and greet children and take photos with them.
Find out more information and register for the next Swapadventure event here: