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Dublin Swap Shop searches for volunteers

  • Members of Dublin's Recycling Committee, Ed Germain, left, Will Oja, and Tom Atmer donate their time to organizing and maintaining the Swap Shop at the town's Transfer Station on Wednesday evening. The committee is looking for more volunteers to help keep the Swap Shop open.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Members of Dublin's Recycling Committee, Ed Germain, left, Will Oja, and Tom Atmer donate their time to organizing and maintaining the Swap Shop at the town's Transfer Station on Wednesday evening. The committee is looking for more volunteers to help keep the Swap Shop open.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

    Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.

    (Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Members of Dublin's Recycling Committee, Ed Germain, left, Will Oja, and Tom Atmer donate their time to organizing and maintaining the Swap Shop at the town's Transfer Station on Wednesday evening. The committee is looking for more volunteers to help keep the Swap Shop open.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Dublin's Recycling Committee is looking for new volunteer's for the town's Swap Shop.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

DUBLIN — Stuffed teddy bears, children’s books, crystal wine glasses, old records and skis each have their place in a little wooden shed known as the Dublin Swap Shop. These items await new owners, having been donated by residents in town who can no longer make use of them.

But members of the town’s Recycling Committee say this useful community shop could be in jeopardy of closing if they can’t find enough volunteers to help monitor it and keep it clean on a routine basis.

“All over the state there are swap shops, but many of them close because people don’t volunteer,” said Ed Germain of the Recycling Committee in an interview at the Swap Shop last week. “People say they want it, but they don’t want to support it.”

Transfer Station Superintendent Tom Kennedy closed Dublin’s Swap Shop temporarily around the December holidays out of concern for people’s safety, according to minutes from a February Select Board meeting .

Without the help of volunteers, Kennedy told the Select Board that he couldn’t keep up with donations and ensure the Swap Shop stays organized.

Thanks to a handful of volunteers — most of whom are members of the town’s Recycling Committee — the Swap Shop reopened about a month ago. But just a few people helping out one night a week isn’t enough, Germain said.

“We need at least 12 more. If we could get 60, I’d take it,” he said.

Volunteer Will Oja said the Swap Shop is the purest form of recycling and for that reason an important resource in a small town like Dublin.

“There’s always things here for little kids,” Oja smiled. “They can take stuff and it makes them happy.”

The Swap Shop not only saves on the amount of trash thrown into the town’s dumpster each day, but in a more subtle way helps promote community spirit, said volunteer Tom Atmer.

“It’s neighbor helping neighbor,” Atmer said.

In today’s economy, volunteer Leslie Searles said the Swap Shop is even more of a necessity because it helps people in need, or those who could not otherwise afford everyday items.

“It behooves everyone to work together and make this work,” Searles said.

Searles has a number of grandchildren, and said she’s been able to get all sorts of essentials at the Swap Shop, including toys, books and highchairs.

“When they’re too big to use them, I’ll bring them back [to the Swap Shop],” she said.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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