Really Free Market is aiding all islanders in need
same folks who brought you the Really, Really Free Market one weekend a
month in Avon are now bringing you the Really, Really Free Market every
day in Waves – along with a new group of volunteers..
The Really, Really Free Markets began several years ago under the
leadership of Jenn Augustson and the Kinnakeet Civic Association.
The idea for the market springs from the current worldwide trend toward
being “green” – reusing and recycling goods we no longer want or need.
Avon’s Really, Really Free Market, on the first Saturday of each month,
was a popular gathering place for people in need and people who had
stuff they no longer needed.
The market usually focused on a different theme each month – back to
school clothes for kids or holiday decorations.
Really, Really Free Markets work like a big flea market where
everything is free. You give away what you bring – for free –
claim what you want – also for free. Even services could be exchanged –
of course, for free.
After Hurricane Irene hit Hatteras Island on Aug. 27, sending a tidal
surge from the Pamlico Sound through the island’s villages, the
supporters of the Really, Really Free Market found a new reason for
Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo were the hardest hit villages, but the
soundside of Avon, especially in Kinnakeet village, was also underwater.
Market organizers and a small army of dedicated volunteers saw a need
and filled it.
Space was donated to the group by the owner of St. Waves Plaza in Waves.
Volunteers began collecting things that people needed – everything from
clothing to bedding and baby supplies to pet food.
It works much like the monthly market. It’s like a big thrift
shop, but everything is free – to everyone.
And the organizers emphasize that they mean everyone on Hatteras Island
is welcome –those whose home and belongings were lost or damaged and
those who had no damage but are suffering economically by the loss of
income for weeks now.
“One of the biggest things I'd like to get across is that the RRFM is
for EVERYONE on Hatteras Island,” says volunteer organizer Jennifer
Johnson of Hatteras village. “Right now, going to Nags Head
buy shoes or clothes for a child who has outgrown what they have can be
a 12-15 hour ordeal. People can come to the Free Market to
for whatever they need, and to avoid feeling ‘guilty’ for taking
anything, they can leave some cash for the Food Pantry in our
“All of us who live on the island have been affected economically and
emotionally, even if we have been lucky enough to have escaped property
damage,” Johnson adds.
The Really, Really Free Market is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.
until 4 p.m., Johnson said.
Volunteers are sorting donated clothing by type and size, and it is
neatly piled up on shelves in fish boxes that double as bins at the
market. Individual pieces of clothing on hangers are attractively
displayed on the wall above the bins.
There’s a table with baby food and supplies, one for groceries, another
for hygiene products.
“Right now, the people who need the free items the most, don't have a
place to live yet, so they are only able to take enough to cover their
most immediate needs,” Johnson says.
There is currently a small selection of furniture and a large selection
of TVs available in a storage area that the owner of St. Waves Plaza
has also made available.
“Because we have that area,” Johnson says, “we will be able to accept
larger household items and furniture, and store them until people who
have been displaced are able to come pick them up.
And, in addition to the list of the top items the market needs,
volunteers are starting to accept new toys and clothing for children
from ages 2 through 10 for the island’s Angel Tree Project.
The market volunteers say they have had a “wonderful”
from off-island donations and have a long list of businesses and people
The organizers of the Really, Really Free Market haven’t decided yet
how long it will stay open – probably as long as there is a need.
And, if items are leftover, when the market closes, they will be passed
on to other thrift stores and food pantries.
“The only way the RRFM can achieve the highest level of success is if
it is used,” Jennifer Johnson says. “If we have all donations and no
shoppers, our staff gets overwhelmed trying to store everything.
If we have too few donations (which has not been a problem
we have to turn people away. The best use is when people
what they don't need, and take what they can use.”
REALLY, REALLY FREE MARKET INFORMATION
The Really, Really Free Market is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., seven
days a week, in St. Waves Plaza in Waves.
The current most needed and/ or requested items include:
storage totes with lids and permanent markers
Tape & Duct Tape
- Bug Spray
Paper, Paper Towels
- Laundry Soap
- Toasters or
Underwear - all sizes
Wipes (Clorox/Lysol type)
(new or gently used)
Food/Cat Food/Kitty Litter
- Dog and Cat
Wipes, Formula, Baby Items (shampoo, soap) - onesies, etc.
The market also needs:
- Shampoo and
- Trash cans,
- New Women's
& Children's Socks, and Men's Large Socks
- W95 or
tc-21c particle respirator
- Tyvek suits
boots-knee high, sizes 5-14
Bookcases are needed for market shelving.
Clothing – either new or gently used – will be welcomed, but is not as
urgently needed as the items above.
The newest and updated "needs list" is here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=280516281962437
Island residents and non-resident
owners, with proper identification, are allowed to enter the
tri-villages and can drop items off directly at the market.
Other drop-off points include the Hatteras Library, Dillon's Corner in
Buxton, Hatteras Island Family Medicine in Frisco, and Dancing Turtle
Coffee Shop and Blue Pelican Gallery in Hatteras village.
DONATIONS BY MAIL
Shipping address for items is
Hatteras Island Family Medicine, c/o Alex Hodges, 50204 Water
Association Road, Frisco, NC 27936.
The Really, Really Free Market organizers suggest that cash donations
should be sent to Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, P.O. Box 1591,
Buxton, NC 27929. The group runs an island-wide food pantry
offers financial assistance to families in need. Or they can go to
Lifeboat Community Church Food Pantry at P.O. Box 84, Salvo, NC 27972.
Anyone who wants to volunteer can stop by the shop during the hours it
Call Jenn Augustson at 216-6558 or Jennifer Johnson at 305-6336.