SUMMIT, NJ - Where there once was just a plot of dirt, the visible frame of the Summit Free Market's new home now has risen, and the Summit Conservancy -- the group spearheading the project -- has seen their fundraising efforts buoyed by an anonymous $30,000 'challenge gift'.
The generous donor has pledged $30,000 if the Conservancy can raise an equal amount in aggregate between now and March 23.
The total cost of the project is $375,000 and, to date, the Conservancy has raised just over $215,000. Ground was broken on March 24, 2019, with completion targeted for this summer.
The structure, located on the grounds of the Summit Transfer Station will serve as the stand-alone, permanent home for the Free Market, a student-driven initiative that is currently held four times annually -- twice in the both the spring and fall. The future home will allow the Free Market -- which enables Hilltop City residents, free of charge, to give away household items they longer need, and find sports equipment, toys, furniture, tools, and household goods to take away -- to function year-round.
When completed, the Summit Free Market will be the first New Jersey facility dedicated to the free exchange of reusable items.
The initiative is estimated to keep 10 tons of reusable material out of the waste stream annually -- which would equate to more than 120 tons since the program began in 2008 -- and saves the City of Summit -- and taxpayers -- money that would be directed toward disposal fees.
The Conservancy's community-wide fundraising effort is being driven through a GoFundMe site, with all amounts -- small and large -- gratefully accepted.