Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ October 2021

The Buy Nothing Project in Four Corners and Forest Knolls

By Merrill Calotta

You may have heard that the large Buy Nothing Four Corners Facebook group recently split into two smaller groups based on neighborhood.  Buy Nothing Facebook groups offer neighbors a way to give, receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through hyper-local gifting.  Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share.  Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow.  Participate as much or as little as you’d like.  Reduce waste through gifting and lending.

Each local Buy Nothing group is part of and adheres to the mission and values of the Buy Nothing Project (, a global movement led entirely by volunteers creating a network of local gift economy communities.  Since its founding in 2013, the movement now spans 44 countries and has more than four million participants led by 12,000 local volunteers.  As the Buy Nothing Project notes, “[members] quickly discover that our gift economies are not just another recycling platform.  A gift economy’s real wealth is the people involved and the web of connections that forms to support them….  The Buy Nothing Project is about setting the scarcity model of our cash economy aside in favor of creatively and collaboratively sharing the abundance around us.”

The new Buy Nothing for our area covers our neighborhood and Woodmoor.  The original group included all of Four Corners.

Meg Ruane Hermstein and Nina Honoré — both of Loxford Terrace — are the group’s wonderful local volunteer admins.  They are passionate about fostering community through Buy Nothing and generously offer their time to lead the group, answer questions, and share tips.  As one local group member said:  “Some people love to get rid of their stuff [immediately] but Buy Nothing allows more people to have a chance, and for a ‘story’ to develop — part of what builds us up as neighbors.”  Many members credit the local group with helping them feel a distinct sense of belonging and strengthening their sense of community over the course of the pandemic.

Last month, one local member volunteered to help resettle a refugee family from Afghanistan (parents with four- and two-year-old daughters) through Lutheran Social Services.  She posted in the local group seeking items to stock and furnish their apartment.  Members came together to gift and contribute extra items they had.  Within a matter of days, the kitchen was fully stocked with food and supplies, living room and bedroom fully furnished and decorated, and closets were filled with toys for the children and clothing for the whole family.

To join our local Buy Nothing group, go to or search “Buy Nothing Forest Knolls/North Four Corners/Woodmoor” on Facebook.  Don’t forget to answer the three membership questions (your street and cross-street, that you’re over 21, and that you don’t belong to another Buy Nothing Group)!

[Merrill Calotta lives on Loxford Terrace with her fiancé, Matt Elliott, and is a member of Buy Nothing FKNFCW.  They moved to Silver Spring one year ago and are proud to call the neighborhood home.  Together they love exploring local cuisine and the outdoors.  You can often find them trying a new restaurant in the DMV, crabbing on the Eastern Shore, or planning their August 2022 wedding.]   ■

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