Freebox Interior Remodel!
Thank you to everyone who joined our meetings this summer to help with redesign plans for the Freebox.
Now that the exterior remodel and mural have been completed, we are moving on to the interior redesign phase.
The space just isn’t keeping up with the increased traffic and use.
We could use some more help in a few areas.
Organizers, Construction Crew, Painters/sanding/staining, Restockers, Cooks for volunteers
Please click this link for more information and to volunteer: FREEBOX VOLUNTEER
Friday, December 2 – 10am-2pm
Organizers will clear out all of the clothing and items from the space.
We will sort, categorize and box items for restocking the Freebox after construction is completed.
Saturday, December 3 – 10am-4pm
Construction crew will disassemble existing racks & bins and reconstruct to offer more hanging and storage space of items.
Sunday, December 4 – 10am-2pm
Construction will continue if needed & restocking and relabeling of shelves.
And if necessary, we will continue work on December 9 & 10.
Freebox: Labyrinth, Fashion Show & Remodel
Crestone Eagle Article – October 2022
By Lisa Bodey, CEX Director
The enthusiastic response to the reopening of the Freebox has also led to an overwhelming
amount of clothing piling and pouring into all of its cracks and crevices. Compounded with the
fact that our regional thrift stores are not taking clothing donations, the unfortunate reality is that
many of our clothing items are ending up in the trash. Earth.org states that 11.3 million tons of
textile waste, mostly clothing, end up in landfills on a yearly basis. That’s equivalent to
approximately 81.5 pounds per person per year!
Local artists decided to tackle this issue headon with introspection, creativity and humor. The
Crestone Energy Fair provided a venue for an art installation labyrinth and fashion show to help
us dive into this dilemma. Allison Wonderland and Chris Manfield took us on a journey with
items salvaged from the Freebox dumpster. Items were collected the month prior to the event
and then placed into an elaborate labyrinth encouraging us to take a deeper look at our waste,
ask deep questions about our consumption and engage with our items in a deliberate way.
Amory Reed coordinated a Freebox Fashion Show complete with models and judges to
demonstrate the possibilities of upcycling clothing and repurposing items into new designs. MC
Leaf LaRay strolled each model down the catwalk with music, rhymes and plenty of humor.
These displays of community creativity are what make this free trading post come alive for all of
us to create new solutions and homes for our items.
At this point, the old design of the Freebox and our increased population just aren’t
accommodating the amount of materials dropped off. Now that the exterior remodel has been
completed, volunteers have met to craft an interior remodel of the space. To make this next
phase happen, we need your support:
● Interior Designer- transform our ideas into plans that maximize space
● Lead Carpenter – lead construction crew on design & remodel
● Construction crew – experienced carpenters to assist with build
● Painters – shelves, walls, signs
● Organizers – remove all items from Freebox and sort into categories
● Cooks – make snacks/meals for volunteers on work days
The Crestone Energy Exchange will lead the overall organization of the remodel and anticipate
this happening by the end of October to mid-November. If you can help, please visit our
Volunteer Signup: https://signup.com/go/NDfQJQK or email
email@example.com. Once a crew is assembled, we will choose days/times to
work together, collaborate and expand our solutions for transforming our trash into displays of
Freebox at the Crestone Energy Fair!
Freebox Art Installation
Saturday, August 27 10:30AM on Main Stage
Message from the artists:
“If you use the Freebox in town or are one of the wonderful volunteer/regulars who helps sort things from the Freebox to move to the dumpster, the art installation crew for Crestone Energy Fair needs your help! For this year’s art installation, we are sourcing materials from the Freebox/Feebox dumpster.
Here is what we need: smaller trash (no larger than a bowling ball with the exception of things that are long and maleable… ropes, ribbons, chains, etc… we want this) that would otherwise go to the Freebox dumpster. We are going to make a simple meditation labyrinth using our community trash as part of the installation, so think about things that can be used that can be arranged to make a path. Sometimes this week we will put a separate container next to the Freebox dumpster where these materials can be put aside instead of the dumpster. Please, do NOT put organic trash/hazardous items (glass, barbwire, nails, etc…) in the container. Thank you for your attention, we look forward to the installation!Also, does anyone have any containers/box big enough to be placed by the Free Box/Free Box dumpster to put the materials aside in that preferably has a lid (because it has been raining). For any questions or support for the art installation, please respond directly to Chris Manfield. Call/text anytime at 925-408-1225.
Freebox Fashion Show
Sunday, August 2812:30PM at the Cloud Stage
Hello Freebox fans! I am thrilled to be hosting the Freebox fashion show at the Crestone Energy Fair this year. The fashion show is open to all who want to participate, so grab your supplies from the Freebox and show the world how fabulous upcycling can look! Not only will the participants get to keep their outfits, but prizes will also be rewarded to the most fashionable! We are still looking for volunteers as well. Come help us spread awareness about the Freebox while unleashing your creativity!
Amory Reed 719-209-1077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freebox opened on Earth Day!
To Volunteer for ongoing cleaning & organizing of the Freebox, sign up here. You can volunteer for any day and anytime!
Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on SignUp: https://signup.com/go/ikMEpcr
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on SignUp)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – SignUp will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
Free Box Meetings
Thursday, June 23 from 6-8PM
Thank you to everyone who has helped with the re-opening of the Freebox. It will take some patience, creativity and management to keep up with the flow of materials coming in. To help with these plans, Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) is hosting monthly meetings for individuals, businesses & organizations who want to ACTIVELY volunteer on an ongoing basis.
FREEBOX UPDATE 6/24/22
The opening of the Crestone Freebox on Earth Day was a huge success! After being closed for over 2 years, we chose the Phoenix rising from the ashes as our mural to represent the new birth and opportunity of this community treasure. However, I’m writing candidly today on behalf of the Freebox Crew who have been hosting meetings and trying to keep up with the cleaning, organization & construction of the space.
Our community has grown significantly since the Freebox was last open, many people are not familiar with the etiquette of use, and we just don’t have enough people volunteering. Despite the new wall and roof extension to expand the space, the clothing bins are overflowing, people just dump boxes & bags and there is a lack of respect for the space.
The Freebox is A COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY. If we want this service to stay open, then we really need your help & support. There are several ways you can help:
- Help with daily cleaning & organizing at SignUp.com. You can volunteer any day, for any amount of time:https://signup.com/go/WjeadGO
- Volunteer Clipboard – we have a new clipboard hanging in the Freebox. This allows you to just sign in on the go and helps us with notes.
- Freebox Crew – (for very active volunteers) send an email here if you would like weekly updates & to be added to our FB thread
2) CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
- We can not move forward with the interior redesign until we have more carpenters volunteering
- If you are a contractor who has scrap materials that may be of use, please consider donating them to the cause
- We need financial donations to purchase additional construction materials.
- If the bins are overflowing, do not leave your items at the Freebox. We are working on additional donation outlets and a redesign to accommodate more items.
- Does anyone have a garage, storage container, extra space for storing items in the in between time for transport to other thrift locations?
4) QUALITY & CREATIVITY
- Every week we are completely filling a 2 cubic yard dumpster with TRASH. These are items that are too dirty, torn, stained or broken to be left in the Freebox. Please do not use this space as your dumping ground.
- We need people who are creative and can repurpose some of these items into new uses. With more help and time we can start closing the loop on our waste stream.
5) FINANCIAL DONATIONS
- This project is completely community funded. We can not move forward with any additional work until we raise another round of funds. Thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who have contributed to get us this far!
- Any grant writers out there who would like to help us with our efforts?
Donations can be sent to:
- Paypal: PayPal.me/CrestoneEnExchange
- Checks: Crestone Energy Exchange – Freebox, PO Box 1163, Crestone CO 81131
Let’s keep this community treasure alive & growing!
Free Box Updates
February 2022 By Lisa Bodey
Thank you for everyone’s patience as we navigate all of the details of re-opening the Crestone Free Box. Over the last few months we have been stymied trying to find an insurance policy to cover this unique situation. After four failed attempts or agencies just not responding to us, we reached back out to the Town of Crestone. Sometimes things just need to be presented in the right timing around here and this time they have said yes to stepping in to this piece of the puzzle.
Our organization will be on the agenda for the March 14 Town Board meeting at 1:30PM to continue working out the details. The Town lawyer will draft up a lease between Lonny Roth of Crestone Creative Trade who owns the property, the Town of Crestone and the Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) as the manager of the site. The Town already committed $1200 which was spent to make the initial repairs, cleaning, painting supplies, installing bulletin boards, high quality MDO for a mural, parts for a bike repair station and other miscellaneous expenses. They have also stepped in to provide the monthly trash service with a contract with Conley Waste Management. CEX will be responsible for paying for the insurance, so many thanks to everyone who has stepped in with the next round of donations for this expense and to purchase gravel and mural supplies.
Unfortunately this delay has led to the mural space being tagged with graffiti three times and stealing the art work that has been donated by local artist Chris Hovland. After the last episode we have installed a more permanent framed piece that we hope stays intact until the mural can be started. We encourage the thieves to return the artwork to the Free Box so these pieces can be used for other community projects. You are only taking time, energy and financial resources away from the volunteers who are working hard to get this re-opened. Thank you to Daya Scheide, Meryl Ennis, Chris Hovland and Matthew Lyon Clark who have helped us repaint after each graffiti incident.
We are just as anxious and excited as all of you to get this reopen and flowing with all of our clothing, tools and household items that we love to share with each other. It truly helps a rural, end of the road community live more abundantly and cultivate the spirit of sharing and reciprocity. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is packed and ready to donate many items from last summer’s annual yard sale to stock up the Free Box. Many exciting and inspirational ideas are brewing, so stay tuned as our intention is to have a Grand Re-Opening sometime in April or May.
November 2021 Crestone Eagle Article, By Lisa Bodey
“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Reopening the Crestone Free Box is proving to be a lesson in patience. We know many of you are ready to trade and manifest treasures but by taking action in the right timing we will have a more sustainable and smooth community resource up and running soon. The Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) is leading this project as a partnership with Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Crestone Creative Trade and the Crestone Energy Fair.
For those who have been following our progress you will know we started this effort with a survey of the community which was overwhelmingly in favor of the reopening. Next, we secured the support of the Town of Crestone Board of Trustees who have offered to pay the monthly dumpster fees. They also donated $1200 which was spent on construction materials and supplies to clean, prime and paint the Free Box, add additional shelving units, modify some of the layout and purchase high quality MDO for the mural. Thank you to Matthew Clark who has taken the lead on this part of the project and also built new shoe racks and two beautiful new bulletin boards for the space. In addition, Joshua James is helping us to install a basic bike maintenance area so flat tires and other minor repairs can be made at the Free Box for travelers on wheels.
Many meetings have been held to prepare for liability insurance, cleaning, safety, maintenance and coordination of the overall project. We acknowledge that there have been many delays from waiting on construction on the building next door to raising the money for insurance. Thank you to Elisabeth DeMarais who came through with a generous donation that will cover our initial insurance costs. However, the current obstacle is actually obtaining the correct liability insurance policy. The CEX will be leasing a small portion of Crestone Creative Trade private property and providing open community access. While we think we have found the right insurance provider we still have been waiting for over a month for their underwriter to write and approve a policy. So, we remain patient.
Plans are in place to create a beautiful new mural for the outside of the structure. If you are an artist or painter, please consider joining us for this phase of the project which will begin this month. We also want to display values that guide our community on how to utilize this free service with respect and integrity. Think of this as an “Empowered Exchange” area and what you give is a reflection of how you take care of yourself and others in our community. Our intention is to create a monthly rotating schedule where organizations, businesses or groups of friends can “Adopt A Month” of the Free Box. This rotates the leadership and truly makes it the responsibility of the entire community to keep this open, clean and beautiful. If you would like to support our efforts or join our email list for updates, please send a message to email@example.com stating your interest, like our Facebook page or visit our website www.crestoneenergyexchange.org. We want to thank the community for all of your support and patience. Oh yeah…and good things come to those who wait!
Free Box Painting Party on Saturday, August 7, 2021
Thank you to everyone who joined us to clean, prime and paint the Free Box and the beautiful folks who dropped off snacks & refreshments for the volunteers. We are still CLOSED but one step closer to opening! The next phase will involve stenciling, a collage, installing a bulletin board and creating a community mural! If you would like to join us, a meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 11 at 10:30AM at Cloud Station or please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join our Free Box updates list!
Free Box being upgraded
The Crestone Eagle • August, 2021
by Lisa Bodey
Crestone Energy Exchange
Many of us have realized that we have a lot of “stuff” accumulating and that the Free Box really provides a place for us to let things go, flow and be able to manifest the perfect piece of clothing, tool or accessory to our homes. The Crestone Energy Exchange (CEX) has formed a partnership with Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN), Crestone Creative Trade and the Crestone Energy Fair to get this community treasure back up and running. We appreciate your patience as it’s not just as simple as taking the board down and saying we are open. To have a successful long-term resource that is sustainable takes a lot of planning and consideration.
We began this process by hosting meetings with the above organizations to discuss liability, insurance, cleaning, safety, maintenance and coordination of the overall project. Next, we completed a survey to determine the interest of the community supporting the Free Box and what we are all willing to contribute to make its operation smooth. These results were compiled and can be viewed on our website: crestoneenergyexchange.org. Our third step was presenting to the Town of Crestone Board of Trustees. We are very grateful that they will be supporting the project by paying for the monthly dumpster fees and have made a generous contribution of $1200 to get moving on the reconstruction.
While our plans were to have the Grand Re-Opening on the 4th of July, the timing just wasn’t happening due to several circumstances. Thank you to NHN for donating the remaining clothing from their annual yard sale, as we were able to display it and host a temporary Free Box at the 4th of July. Thanks to Mary Lowers, Nick Nevares and many others for all of their hard work storing and moving these items for all of us!
We are excited to announce that the Free Box repairs have started and we want to thank Steve Storm, Maori Baca, Matthew Lyon Clark, Taylor Shelton, Noah Pulver and Tony Cannata for stepping up to help with this redesign and construction. Taylor is contacting all of our survey respondents to clarify how they can help with the monthly care and upkeep. Our intention is to create a monthly rotating schedule where organizations, businesses or individual groups of friends can “Adopt A Month” of the Free Box. This rotates the leadership and truly makes it the responsibility of the entire community to keep this open.
There is also one more step before we can reopen! Let’s make this a beautiful space that represents the values and guidelines of gifting and receiving. We are looking for a team of artists/painters to design a mural and other artwork to brighten up the structure and messages that encourage people to be responsible and in integrity when they drop off items. This is not a place to drop off your broken, dirty, ripped and other items that would be considered trash. Think of this as an “Empowered Exchange” area and what you give is a reflection of how you take care of yourself and others in our community.
If you would like to support our efforts or join our email list, please send a message to email@example.com stating your interest, like our Facebook page or visit our website crestoneenergyexhange.org.
Crestone Free Box
Thank you to everyone who took the Free Box survey! You can view the responses on the Free Box Survey Results tab on this website. It is going to take all of us being stewards of this community treasure to keep it clean, organized and well maintained. One idea is to have a business/organization/group of individuals sponsor each month to help share the responsibility. If you volunteered to help in these efforts, we will be in touch soon to help determine the ways you would like to participate.
A few updates:
Thank you to the Town of Crestone for agreeing to sponsor the Free Box with a monthly donation and payment of disposal fees for the dumpster.
We are looking for a group of artist/painters to help design and paint an inspiring mural that also reflects our guidelines and values for utilizing the Free Box. Please consider donating paints, brushes and materials to these efforts.
For more information, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org