Chris Frimoth

Class of '81

Place of service: Swap Positive & Free Swaps

Why I Serve

Within volunteerism there can sometimes be, unknowingly, an “us and them” chasm. What Swap Positive does is eliminates that chasm. “We” give all of our abundance. “We” all share in the bounty. “We” all prosper, however we define it. And one of the ways Swap Positive does this is by making the exchanging of clothing and other items a fun experience. To use a more contemporary term, “gamification.”

Making a difference in the lives of others from my own abundance is one of the main reasons I volunteer at Swap positive. Plus, it’s just so much fun.

How I Serve

I volunteer at the Holiday Gift & Toy Swap in early December and the Spring Stuff Swap in April. Using the Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst’s gym in NE Portland, I set up my sound equipment, provide appropriate background music during the swap, and emcee the event. During the swap I provide security if needed, and after the swap is completed I help pack up remaining items to be picked up by non-profit(s) who will give them away, not sell them, so the free sharing continues.

These events give me a chance to clean out things in the home in good shape that I no longer need/use/love, and gift them. Being with like-minded kind and fun-loving people, there is a mentality that is positive and creates community. Keeping usable items out of landfills saves city money and is sustainable. Donating remainders to charity to be gifted allows each person who brings something to be a philanthropist. Plus, each person gets to receive joy and fun by treasure hunting for themselves and for gifts for others. Giving from abundance, receiving with gratitude, and working that “us and them” out of the equation. All for free.

Over my 10-year involvement with Swap Positive, the joy of the swappers as they leave the gym venue is truly one of the most gratifying moments.

To learn more about Swap Positive & Free Swaps, visit