Buy Nothing: What Humanity Needs Right Now


The Branch recently talked with Ally Magee, Naperville mom and admin of Buy Nothing Naperville. It is clear she is excited to be part of Buy Nothing, and loves to spread the word about this fantastic group with several area branches.



The concept is simple: you post something you no longer need to the group, let it sit for a bit so members can express interest, choose a recipient of that gift, then put it outside in a designated spot for them to pick it up. If you are in need of an item, you may comment on a “wish list,” so that members might help you find what you need. If you need help with a service, ask! The only rule is that all gifts, requests, and members are equal, and that things are given with no strings attached (unless of course, you’re just borrowing something)!


What Buy Nothing groups really offer is so much more.


Ally says, “Our members are kind, caring, friendly, helpful, and best of all — funny! Members in our group are known to offer help in moving large items with their trucks, bring something to a neighbor in need, make a silly face in the video doorbell while picking up/dropping something off, and have even helped someone out by driving them and their car home when they’ve had a bit to drink one evening. The connections in the group are reminiscent of pre-social media days where you felt comfortable relying on neighbors and members of the community.”


Check out this article that articulates exactly what the group represents:


Here are some little examples of why Ally loves this group:


A woman in our group no longer needed her KitchenAid mixer and offered it to the group. Of course many people were interested, commenting with what they would use it for, some even starting out with their own baking businesses. When a man who does a lot for others in our Buy Nothing community won it, many members congratulated him, telling him he deserved it and that they were happy for him. It was beautiful.


A man in the group wrote an incredibly funny story about how he was purchasing alcohol for his wife’s book club and found some great “shot glasses” for the ladies, only to find that diva cups weren’t quite for partying…. (Although I am confident the story was just a story and they happen to have an extra unused diva cup to pass on, it was great to read!). The same guy said he was doing a giveaway while he wife was out of town — like a gameshow!  “You need something? If I can find it, it’s yours!” Lol


One evening, a semi truck carrying frozen foods broke down. Word got around our group and many of our members helped to find these frozen meals and ice cream homes!


We occasionally have appreciation posts where members share their touching stories of how people in the group have helped and impacted them.  It’s incredible.


When I was having a rough week and was set to pick up some hasta plants from a member, she knew I was a little down and snuck a bottle of wine in with the plants. I felt seen and acknowledged, and incredibly touched.


We have gotten to know some of the regulars and will tag people, knowing they love owls, or spicy things, or are in need of something someone has posted.


The group encourages generously giving, graciously receiving, humbleness and patience when expressing interest in an item. I believe we all need some reminders that it’s just as important to ask for things as it is to give!



Here are Facebook links to some of the groups. We hope to see you there soon!


Buy Nothing North Naperville


Buy Nothing Central Naperville


Buy Nothing South Naperville


Buy Nothing Northeast Aurora


Buy Nothing Southeast Aurora


Buy Nothing Warrenville


Buy Nothing Lisle



I could honestly go on for hours about all of the ways I love and appreciate the Buy Nothing Project and our local groups! Administrating for the Naperville group is something that brings me great joy; it’s a daily dose of the best of humanity.


The Branch loves to see community members coming together. Way to go, Ally!



Join Now
Connect with other local moms by joining our mailing list and receive mom-specific content on a weekly basis.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.