Local

Some things in life are free

DeKALB – “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” or so the saying goes.

So with that in mind, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 6, rather than choosing to recycle that old kitchen appliance, armchair or pair of jeans, why not choose to “freecycle” it at the Choose 2 Reuse event, held at 460 E. Lincoln Highway, in DeKalb?

Choose 2 Reuse, sponsored by the local Being the Change organization, will give visitors a chance to select free items that were collected at no obligation. And according to Being the Change founder and Choose to Reuse organizer Kimberly Lueken, this is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We are hoping that if this becomes a successful event, to [host] it on a regular basis,” Lueken said.

Lueken got the idea for the event from her mother, who is a member of a township group in central Wisconsin that started a Choose to Reuse program last year.

“The purpose [Choose 2 Reuse] is to [dissuade] people from throwing usable, wonderful things into the landfill,” Lueken said. “And also it’s a way to spread the wealth, so to speak.”

If you have something to donate, drop off times are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 5, and again between 6 and 8 a.m. Saturday, June 6. Items brought directly to the event for donation will also be accepted. However, for bigger items, such as furniture, it is requested that a picture of the item with contact information is supplied rather than delivering the item to the event.

Being the Change in DeKalb is a community volunteer organization with 53 members. They formed last December, and the Choose 2 Reuse event is their first major, organized event.

Other contributions the group has made include donating water coolers and water to Safe Passage, the local domestic violence shelter, and maintaining community vegetable gardens, such as those used by Safe Passage and Hope Haven.

Future contributions to their community will include offering a means for residents to safely dispose of expired prescription and OTC medications to prevent them from ending up in water supplies or landfills.

“There are a lot of plans on the back burner,” Lueken said.

Lueken and other members formed Being the Change in DeKalb to help out organizations in need of funding and other resources to help meet the needs of their community, which are significantly higher now than in the past due to the struggling economy.

“Local organizations, as well as organizations nationwide, have seen their funding decrease,” Lueken said. “While with the economy, people’s needs in the community have greatly increased. We’re trying to help coordinate different events ... to bring about positive change in the community.”

The Choose 2 Reuse event on June 6, Lueken said, also expresses their interest in the green movement, as it promotes the recycling of goods and items that might otherwise have been thrown away.

And now more than ever, Lueken says, is when people need an opportunity to find just the thing they’ve been looking for at no cost to them, or to donate that old item so it can be put to use by someone in need of it.

Items left over after the event will be donated to charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army or Am Vets.

Everything is going to be reused somehow,” Lueken said. “None of this is going to go into the garbage.”

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