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What is the Free Store?

What is the Free Market

The Free Store is a listing service connecting free, reusable household items with people who want them. It is part of an effort to reduce the amount of reusable goods being thrown away. And its just plain neighborly to be helpful to each other.


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How does the Free Store work?

The Free Store is an easy to use web-based exchange.

On the Web:

The easiest way to access the Free Store is to use the interactive web site. The web site allows you to see what items people are looking for or what items people have to give away, and how to reach them so you can make an exchange. You can also add your wanted or available items to the list right on the web, so you can be contacted when the item you want becomes available, or when we find a person who wants the item you want to give away. Its that easy. (For more specific instructions on how to use this web site, see "How can I look for free stuff?" or "How can I give something away?", below.)

Typically, the person requesting the item will make arrangements to pick up the item directly from the person giving it away. The Free Store does not transport or store any items.

On the Phone:

If you have problems using the website we can help you list an item or to locate an item in the catalog. You can call us at (507) 457-6467 and leave a message for our exchange coordinator.

 


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What kind of stuff can be exchanged?

What kind of stuff can be listed with the Free Store

Below is a sample of categories and items you can list and may be able to find through the Free Store. There are many more possibilities. List anything except household hazardous wastes (paints, pesticides) and safety items (bike helmets, car seats). Please read the Free Store disclaimer below. We do not accept listings for food, clothing, or pets. Go here

  • Appliances (air conditioners, microwaves, washers & dryers)
  • Children's Items (bunk beds, cribs, furniture, toys)
  • Electronics (answering machines, cameras, computers, TVs, VCRs)
  • Furniture (chairs, couches, desks, dressers, tables)
  • Home Decor (carpets, lamps, rugs)
  • Home Renovation (cabinets, countertops, lumber, shingles, sinks, tiles, doors, windows)
  • Lawn & Garden (dirt, compost, lawn furniture, lawn mowers, patio bricks, wood chips)
  • Musical Instruments (band & orchestra equipment, music stands)
  • Pet Equipment (aquariums, cages, dog houses, food bowls)
  • Recreation & Exercise (bicycles, camping, exercise & sports equipment)

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Where can I give away food, clothing, or pets?

If you have food, clothing, or pets to give away contact the following:

  • Food and clothing: Winona Volunteer Services food shelf at 416 E 2nd St,507-452-5591, Email.
  • Pets: Winona Humane Society, 114 E 2nd Street, 507-452-3135, Email

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The Free Store Disclaimer

Information provided through the Free Store is supplied by the lister of the material, not the Free Store, the Winona Area Poverty Roundtable, member organizations of the WAPR, their contractors or sponsors (including the city and county of Winona), nor is any advisor, agent, or employee liable or responsible for any warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the material description, the suitability for a particular use, or the salability of any material offered through this service. The Free Store will strive to exclude materials that exhibit the characteristics of hazardous wastes (i.e. materials that are toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive. See the Minnesota Waste Management Act 115A.96 and 116.06 for exact definitions). However, the Free Store is not responsible for the determination of what may constitute a hazardous waste or create a hazardous situation. Some non-hazardous materials, such as tires and appliances, are governed by rules and regulations that restrict their disposal options. It is the responsibility of the Free Store users to be familiar with any legal limitations that may exist on the exchange of any listed materials. The Free Store reserves the right to not list a material, delist a material, or edit information provided by the listing party.
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Who can use the Free Store?

<FONT COLOR="#2362AA"><b><P>The Free Store </b></FONT> is all Winona area residents.

The Free Store is open to residents living in the Winona, Minnesota, area. This includes the residents of Winona, Wabasha, Fillmore, and Houston counties in Southeast Minnesota. Included also are Buffalo and Trempealeau counties in Western Wisconsin.

Please do not list items, wanted or available, if you live outside the Winona area defined above.If you are a business, contact the Minnesota Materials Exchange program at (612) 624-1300 or (800) 247-0015, or see the Web site at www.mnexchange.org. The goal of the Materials Exchange program is to reduce the amount of reusable business items going to landfills while assisting Minnesota businesses and organizations in obtaining free or low cost items and saving money.

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How can I look for free stuff ?

Search the catalog to see what others have to give away. If you do not find anything you want there, list your wanted items in the catalog so others can contact you when they have something to donate.

To search the catalog: Go to the "Catalog" page and follow the directions. Search the entire catalog by selecting "All Categories" or simplify your search by selecting a category of items ("Furniture" or "Lawn & Garden" for example).

You will see a list of items that others have to give away. These items are stored at the homes of the people who own them. If an item interests you, click on the item's name. You will be instructed to register your name then you will immediately be supplied the name and phone number of the person who has the item to donate. Call the donor and make arrangements to pick the item up.

What If I don't find it?

To list your wanted item in the catalog, go to the "New Listings" page and follow the instructions. You can list as many items as you want. This will allow others who have a matching item to donate to contact you. (The only people who will be given your name and phone number are those who have registered their name with us.)

Let us know about successful exchanges in order to keep the catalog updated. The more updated the catalog is, the better the program will work. We can only update the catalog if we hear from you! This will also decrease the number of unnecessary phone calls you will make or receive.

Contact us by phone at (507) 457-6467, or by email to Exchange Coordinator.
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How can I give something away?

You can start by searching the catalog to see what others have told us they are looking for. If you do not find a match there, list your available item in the catalog.

To search the catalog: go to the "Catalog" page and follow the instructions. Select "All Categories" to search the entire catalog or select the category that your item falls under ("Furniture" or "Lawn & Garden" for example).

You will see a list of items people are looking for. If the item you have matches something someone wants, click on that item's name. You will be instructed to register your name, then will immediately be supplied the name and phone number of the person looking for that item. Call them to make arrangements for the exchange to take place.

To list your available item in the catalog so others can see what you have to give away, go to the "New Listings" page and fill in the blanks as instructed. The information will immediately get posted in the catalog so anyone interested in acquiring the item can contact you. (The only people who will be given your name and phone number are those who have registered their name with us.)


Let us know about successful exchanges in order to keep the catalog updated. The more updated the catalog is, the better the program will work. We can only update the catalog if we hear from you! This will also decrease the number of unnecessary phone calls you will make or receive.

Contact us by phone at (507) 457-6467, or by email to Exchange Coordinator.


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How can I delist an item?

Let us know about successful exchanges in order to keep the catalog updated. The more updated the catalog is, the better the program will work. We can only update the catalog if we hear from you! This will also decrease the number of unnecessary phone calls you will make or receive.

Please supply the item number if you know it, your name, and whether you gave it away or received it.

Contact us by phone at (507) 457-6467, or by email to Exchange Coordinator.


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Want to volunteer to help with Winona Shares?

There are a variety of ways you can help with The Free Store and the Winona Shares project.

  • Help those who might need transportation to get items they need
  • Respond to phone messages
  • Be an "exchange agent" by finding matches between wanted and available items in the catalog
Contact us by phone at (507) 457-6467, or by email to Exchange Coordinator.
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