NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s a social movement called the “Buy Nothing Project.”

The goal is to bring communities together through giving and helping people nearby.

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“So how did you get this [dress]?” asked CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

“Well, someone posted it on Buy Nothing,” said Di Edwards.

LINK: Buy Nothing Project

She wore the beautiful dress to a wedding, and it was completely free. Someone had posted it on her local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group. It’s a place to post things you’d like to give away, or you can request something you need.

Edwards requested a binder.

“I just wanted a simple binder, and I didn’t want to have to go to Staples to buy one,” Edwards said.

A member had an extra one to give Edwards.

The Buy Nothing Project started seven years ago when two friends in Washington state came up with the idea. There are now groups in 30 countries.

Edwards started the local group for her neighborhood on the Upper West Side. It has now more than 700 members.

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Chelsea Duke is one of them. She has three kids and has received used Halloween costumes, a dollhouse, and when she requested a keyboard, one of the members had one she could borrow.

“We’re borrowing it indefinitely, and when they want it back or need it back, then they’re welcome to take it back,” Duke said.

All the items were given away and whoever posts them chooses who receives them. The gifts are normally given in person, and that’s when you start getting to meet your neighbors.

“The best thing for me has been meeting other people in my community,” Duke said.

Many members give gifts of time and expertise.

“One of our amazing members invited other members to come to a bar in the neighborhood and learn how to knit and crochet,” Edwards said.

That has now turned into the Beer and Yarn Collective, which meets once a week.

So the possibilities are endless, and the hope is as word spreads, Buy Nothing groups will pop up in neighborhoods everywhere.

There are a few rules: No money can be exchanged, and you must be an adult, and you can only join one Buy Nothing group.

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