The Spotlight this month is on the WCL Clothing Exchange. After 76 years of serving the Community of Weston, and 44 years in one location, this will be our last season in the Josiah Smith Barn. We need your support to make this the best season ever and help us reach our goal of $10,000. We are asking all our members to donate in-season gently used clothing and household items or make a donation directly to the WCL Service and Scholarship Fund. Our doors open Tuesday, September 11, 2018. If you are unable to bring your donations, (Tuesdays 10a.m.-4p.m.), please contact Adrian Proll for our concierge service and pick up at your convenience. We hope you’ll enjoy a little history on the Clothing Exchange.
The Women’s Community League was established in 1919. It was organized to continue the cooperative service that began when women rolled bandages, knitted sweaters, mittens and scarves for the War. The Children’s Exchange began officially in November 1942 under the “Committee of Public Safety”. To meet community needs, they planned a “second-hands goods” sale. Recognizing continued need for residents, the Children’s Exchange opened in the Unitarian Church on January 3rd,1943. The Exchange then moved to the Town Hall the following Fall.
The Women’s Community League assumed the Children's Exchange in May,1945. After alterations were made to the Town Hall, all profits entered the “Welfare and Scholarship Fund". It continued in the Town Hall until 1951. Realizing the success of their operation, members quietly investigated larger space. When the Jones House became available through SPINEA (Society for Preservation of New England Antiquities), the League donated funds and negotiated new space in the Tavern(Jones House). The Children’s Exchange secured and renovated the Well Room, adjacent Dining Room and “new” Kitchen.
In 1974, the League investigated options to further expand and renovate the Barn. Significant funds would be required for renovations that included flooring, an indoor shell, kitchen and toilet facilities. Architect and member Marjorie Pierce and Polly Germeshausen accomplished a tour de force securing a long term lease with options to renew as needed. In August 1975, the WCL approved funding for a major capital investment. $55,000 was spent on infrastructure that allowed the WCL "Boutique & Clothing Exchange" to have a permanaent home in the Josiah Smith Barn and connector until today.
This investment has been returned to the Weston Community in Service and Scholarship dozens of times over. The WCL Clothing Exchange and Boutique has been the primary source for Service and Scholarship funding. WCL volunteers staff the Clothing Exchange and Barn Cafe every Tuesday. It is a community gathering spot for members and visitors. We hope you drop by and share a piece of our history together. Please bring your donations!