Goodness, I'm fascinated and relieved that there is such a community in Bismarck/ Mandan and beyond- that are not just willing to, but seem almost dedicated to, helping their neighbors.  I don't want to play favorites, so Bismarck/Mandan- just word search help in your Facebook browser and you'll find this one...

I've got two grocery bags of can foods and also there is some Snapple blackberry lemonade in there that my family really didn't care for and there's also a pair of jeans Aeropostale size 14 I would appreciate whoever takes the food also takes the jeans.

See what I'm saying?  If you are Jones'n for some Snapple blackberry lemonade and can squeeze into Aeropostale 14s this lead is for you! But there's intermittent rain in the forecast so the "giver" wants to know when the potential "taker" will arrive, before she put's them out on the curb. So, a well orchestrated transfer and all parties are happy.

My question is...what if I don't want to do business at my home?  That's where I keep all the rest of my stuff?!  What if the the "taker" just assumed I had MORE size 14 Aeropostales in the house? Maybe wanted to come take a peek when I'm not around?

This is a great ideas for both parties...

West Fargo has stepped up and proclaimed Safe Spot(s) for just such transactions...

The Safe Spot Swaps provide a safe environment for residents to hold transactions in a public location including online purchases, trades or other private party transactions. Additionally, the areas can be used as a safe and neutral site for child custody exchanges. The goal of the Safe Spot Swaps is to help reduce fraudulent transactions, thefts and robberies to promote overall safety.

So join me as we jump back in time and please answer honestly...

Months back, I saw a submission on a local online selling site...the "giver" was attempting to give away a very cheap used cup for free!  So my questions for you-

Is it scarier to go to a anonymous place to go and retrieve a give-away nasty used cup?


Is it scarier to invite an anonymous someone to your place to retrieve a free nasty used cup?

close up of styro foam coffee cup on white background with clipping path

Good news- both are scary. So, pretty easy question.

Here's an answer some North Dakota cities are coming up with.

But now in West Fargo, you can make this generous transaction in a public area with plenty of cameras recording the free cup deal in it's entirety.  Pretty cool.

West Fargo Community Engagement Officer Rhonda Jorgensen said that as the community grows, along with more people turning to online marketplaces and ads, the hope is that they'll avoid risk.

"It gives you that safe spot that you should be comfortable going to," she said, "versus just meeting in a random parking lot somewhere."

One safe zone is at the Police Department, the other at the West Fargo Fire Department's south station. The cities of Fargo and Grand Forks have taken similar steps in recent years.

So good for y'all that are doing home exchanges out of the goodness of your heart.  Trust is a beautiful thing.  But maybe we in Bismarck/Mandan could suggest to the powers that be to establish a designated drop off area just as they're trying in eastern North Dakota.

Love to hear what y'all think...and by all means keep up the good work helping folks out.

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