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White Plains Seeks Volunteers for 'Take it or Leave it Shed'

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – After shuttling bikes, Christmas lights, Japanese tea sets and thousands of other household goods between owners last year, White Plains' Take it or Leave it (TILI) shed seeks volunteers to help reincarnate gently-used furniture and appliances in new homes.

EcoNeighbors, a group of environmentally conscience artists in White Plains, needs assistance manning the TILI shed from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, according to Yvonne Gumowitz.

“The whole thing has a green concept and it’s evolving. It was a big success last year and we’re hoping it’s an even bigger success this year,” said Gumowitz, a White Plains website developer and EcoNeighbors member. "We cannot operate without volunteers."

TILI will embark on its second April to October season at the beginning of Earth Week on April 14. An EcoNeighbors representative will be at the 87 Gedney Way each Sunday to help volunteers get acclimated. High school students who are interested in getting community service hours or credit could do so at TILI.

Gumowitz said she grew optimistic about TILI's second season after sorting through leftovers and finding a shelf for her guest room.

“We recently went in there for an early spring cleaning assuming everything in there was going to be junk, but I actually found a totally cool shelf," said Gumowitz. "It’s perfect for DVDs. People come over and they’re like, 'Oh did you get this at Pottery Barn.' and I’m like, 'No, at the TILI shed and it was a leftover.' There’s some real treasures that come through there.”

Other communities' free home recycling centers inspired EcoNeighbors to open TILI for those looking to pass along "anything that is too good for the trash, but cluttering up your home." Anyone is welcome to peruse the shed and take home items. An electric outlet allows browsers to test appliances, however, the western saloon-style shed also includes LED lighting powered by an old truck battery and a solar cell.

TILI accepts small functioning, appliances, cooking and kitchenware, sports equipment, toys, games, children's books, tools, speakers and small pieces of hard furniture. Upholstered furniture or pieces with fabric are not accepted because of bedbug concerns. Large appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, TVs, computers, printers, fax machines, skis, stuffed animals and cribs are not accepted.

"We are contemplating doing something in conjunction with Furniture Sharehouse, which is near the county airport, but we haven’t fully fleshed that out yet. So right now we’re turning away very large furniture," said Gumowitz.

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