FAIRFIELD — “Think and Grow Rich” author Napoleon Hill once said, “There is no such thing as something for nothing.”
However, there is Somethin’ 4 Nothin’ – a nearly 2,500-member-strong Facebook group that provides members with exactly what their name says.
While Facebook is often used to connect people socially, promote businesses and organizations and share amusing cat videos, Fairfield resident Jenn Victoria, 37, wanted to use the site to help Solano County residents in a unique way. She created the group in 2012.
“When people want to get rid of things, they usually donate it somewhere that then resells the items,” Victoria said. “I wanted to cut out the middle man and give directly to people in the community because sometimes people can’t afford to purchase even cheap items.”
Somethin’ 4 Nothin’ is a closed Facebook group, which means that potential members must first be approved. Key to the success of Somethin’ 4 Nothin’ is the concept, mentioned in the group’s rules, of keeping the cycle of giving going.
Members must first post an item to give before claiming one posted by someone else or making an ISO (In Search Of) post. Still, if they are unable to give, they can send a message to Victoria or other group administrators who are more than willing to work with them.
“How it works is say you have stuff that you want to donate. You post a picture of the item or items on the Somethin’ 4 Nothin’ group,” Victoria said. “Whoever comments first can claim that item and the poster and person wanting it then work out whether it will be dropped off or picked up. Usually the people (who) want the item go to the person’s house and pick it up.”
The items posted and claimed in the group are varied.
“We have furniture, a lot of clothes, toys, tools, video games – you’d be surprised,” Victoria said. “We obviously don’t allow anything illegal like bootleg movies and also no firearms. We get so many different items and you never know what someone else needs. I mean, we have had people claim key chains, markers and duct tape. It saves someone money and things don’t go to waste.”
Susan Roberts is a member of the group and moved to Solano County at the urging of a friend because of economic problems in Delaware. Once here, the then-five-months pregnant Roberts and her husband found themselves in need of baby items as they could not find jobs.
“I came across this group and they helped me more than I can ever explain,” Roberts said. “I got everything I needed for my son. A hardly used sling, bassinet, clothing – everything. I don’t have a car, either, and so many members would go out of their way to bring me things.“
Roberts, true to the spirit of the group, was later able to give away all of her maternity clothes on the site after giving birth to her son. The group has blessed her with more than just stuff.
“I left a hair straightener on my porch for a lady to pick up and when I checked to see if she had got it, I saw she – a stranger – had left me a Christmas card,” Roberts said. “I came out here knowing one person, but now I feel like I know all these different people.”
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.
Somethin’ 4 Nothin’: www.facebook.com/groups/S4NROCKZ