Ithaca Families Gift Economy: Gifting, Reusing, and Being a Community

(view more articles in SOS Tompkins Weekly)

Tompkins Weekly      2-19-18

By Cassandra Kent

Ithaca Families Gift Economy is a Facebook group that has expressed community to the fullest- the characteristic of helping each other when times are rough. IFGE welcomes Ithaca residents & those in the surrounding area. Ithaca Family Gift Economy is more than just a group – it’s a family, that is about supporting each other with lots of love and supplies. It’s a group that helps people who have wants or needs or people who have goods to offer or want an opportunity to give a gift. Regularly gifted items include beds, toys, and clothes!

Not only does it help provide material goods to families, it brings area residents closer, making connections that may not otherwise be made.

Ithaca resident Aleathia Duvall shares her thoughts about the group; “It’s a group of showing love instead of tossing the items, it’s given with love to someone in need and the support everyone gives one another is awesome.”

The founding women of this group include Ellen Mary (Main Creator), Wendy Williams (First Believer of the Group) and Rachael Ebel (A long-time Admin). Trumansburg Families Gift Economy monitored by Danielle Prince, Wendy Williams and Heather Benedict recently affiliated as a formal Sister group!

It is absolutely amazing to see how much the community comes together! In December of 2017, our member total was 2,500. In two short months, it has increased to 2,700.

The expression “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to life in this group. As an example, a family cleaning out their home that wants to rehome a toddler’s bed could offer it on the group may not realize they just saved a family from spending money they may not have. This group is all about gifting and supporting one another. For some, it may just be a free site to make space in their home, but to whoever is receiving the gift — it’s money they didn’t have to spend to put towards food, clothing and other mandatory items they need.

Most of the time in papers lately we see about unfortunate events occurring but what needs to be shown the most isn’t: The generosity from this town needs to be examined lately to remind everyone how Ithaca really is.

Member, Crystal Meyers states “This group is a reflection of the kindness and support in our local community, which I am so proud and thankful to be a part of.”

Ithaca Families Gift Economy takes the time to show you how many people locally are good-hearted and supportive to one another. When a poster creates an ISO (In Search Of) post, this community 9/10 times will try to come together to at least try to help the poster meet their needs.

From a personal experience, I can say that the IFGE helped my children receive the Christmas and birthdays that they deserve. There is an incredible amount of amazing, considerate, supportive people in the world and because of this Facebook group, you will find out that some of them are in your own backyard.

Ithaca Families Gift Economy members have been coming together more than ever to prove that in Tompkins County we still have each other’s backs when times get tough. I am proud to be a member of this heart-warming, generous, supportive group. This group builds long lasting friendships, could create potential future playdates or even just make someone’s day a little better.

If you liked this article, you may want to check out our complete archives of SOS Tompkins Weekly articles