HONOLULU (KHON2) — Pick up or drop off free plants, books and canned goods at a ‘free store’ in a local neighborhood.

The community is helping each other by setting up these free stores in 16 neighborhoods around the island.

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These free stores have items from clothes, bowls and even seeds — and all you have to do is pick which one you want and you’re good to go.

Kate Werner is someone who opened a ‘free store’ in front of her house. She said there is no pressure to give at all “come take, and if you have stuff to give come give and it’s a fun place to meet people and hang out too.”

Werner said she started the store during the pandemic when she started growing a lot of food “so this was a way to give other people things that they could grow and eat. And they can give — and the exchange will continue.”

Werner also said people come by often, seeing at least one person a day. She said these stores help a community become closer even during hard times.

“I mean everything is going up and it’s a way to build community. We’ve made friends and had supportive conversations with people.”

Kate Werner, Kailua resident

These free stores usually hold plants and seeds, but they are not limited to just those items. Werner said if the neighbors come together and have space, they could swap anything “there’s always clothing swaps too, there all kinds of swaps. So, we could have food and there’s books.” She said they could even have items like shampoo.

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Click here if you would like to drop off or check out a free store.