E. Texas organization shows swapping is the new shopping - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

E. Texas organization shows swapping is the new shopping

BEN WHEELER, TX (KLTV) -

On Saturday morning, the OMG! All Star Gym in Ben Wheeler will be transformed into a girl's wonderland of used clothing, books, decorative items, and toys for all girls, ages toddler to teen.

But it's all part of a bigger movement called World Swap Day, meant to remind people that shopping isn't always the answer -- swapping has its own benefits.

"There are things out there that are still able to be used, and it's new to you, so why not?" said Lori Stovall, a Peace.Love.Swap community organizer in Van Zandt and Henderson counties.

The idea being that you swap your gently used clothes for someone else's.

"Swapping is the new shopping," Stovall said. "In this economy being what it is, if you can save a buck, that's what you've got to do. We're all under pressure to cut back where we can."

There will also be vendors on hand to sell homemade items, like bags that are made from used clothing and feed bags.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing something, like I'm giving back," said Dandi Diehl, the Crafty Cowgirl. "These aren't just sitting in a landfill where they just sit forever, because they're not easy to burn or easy to throw away."

A big part of Peace.Love.Swap is giving back to local charities. One dollar from each admission fee goes to the Hope and Healing Ranch in Van, which provides a refuge for kids affected by domestic violence.

"They are helping the people that we are involved with," said Vickie Krouse, Executive Director of the Hope and Healing Ranch. "It just gives our women and children a chance to get out and get fresh clothes and things that sometimes they have to walk away from, and they have nothing except the clothes on their back, and it helps tremendously."

The clothes that are left after the swap will go to A More Excellent Way Community Resource Center in Canton.

"A lot of times when the East Texas Crisis Center or the fire department or police department send a referral to us or someone's gotten burned out or they're in a crisis mode where they're having to start from scratch again, we actually just help give them things to get them jump-started," said Muriel Rogers, founder of A More Excellent Way.

Yes, Saturday's swap helps the environment, but Stovall says it's really bigger than that.

"The Peace.Love.Swap mission is all about moms helping moms, communities helping communities, helping out local charities, and continuing to help the local community is what it's all about," Stovall said.

You can drop off your gently used -- and clean -- clothes and items Friday night from 6 to 8 or Saturday morning from 8 to 9 at the OMG! All Star Gym in Ben Wheeler (5915 FM 314, Ben Wheeler).

And the swap will be held at the gym Saturday morning from 9:15 to 11:15.

Admission is $5 if you bring your items Friday, and $7 if you bring them Saturday.

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