October 31, 2014 - 7:37 PM
KAMLOOPS - A frenzy of gift giving started in Kamloops since Nattaly Franzen decided she wanted to give away a mystery box. Franzen says the game of storing various items in an unmarked box and offering it for pickup is a popular one among young mothers. She remembers it becoming a trend when she lived in Grande Prairie and decided to bring it to Kamloops.
“I put a box together, wrote ‘mystery’ on it and put it up on the Mom Swap (Facebook Page),” she says.
It was nothing special — a couple of handsoaps and some couponing items — but something worth checking out. Within hours, Franzen was contacted and the mystery box was picked up by a stranger. All Franzen requested from the person she gave it to was to pay it forward by continuing the trend with a similar priced gift.
The box has now been delivered to over 20 gift-givers in Kamloops. Four more people have created boxes since Franzen launched the Kamloops Mystery Box Facebook page. With over 170 members so far, the page bustles each day with delivery posts. There’s a lot of them; between members there has been over 100 exchanges in the last week.
“I’ve talked to lots of people who are picking them up. They’re loving it,” says Franzen. “I want people to open these boxes and (say) ‘wow."
Franzen says most of her members are young mothers, some are senior citizens. Some of those who grab a box are struggling financially. Franzen says useful gifts have included gently-used winter clothing, household items, non-perishable foods along with toys and clothes for children. There has been the odd generous gift; Franzen mentions a $20 bill and a $50 item.
But not everyone plays fair: Sometimes people gift junk or hoard the boxes. Last week one was stolen.
“We eventually got it back, but unfortunately it was filled with garbage,” she says.
Those who are caught not playing by Franzen’s rules can get suspended from participating or banned from the page.
The regulations are simple:
- If you are the first to comment on mystery box pick-up post, you must collect it within two hours.
- Send a private message on Facebook to get the address.
- Once you’ve received the box, you have one hour to replace the same amount of items. No garbage.
- Repost the newly filled box on the page.
In the future, Franzen plans to cap the number of boxes at ten so there’s a box for every area in town.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014