Feeling Good About Freecycle 1

Freecycle.org is a website that helps people give and get free items.   Joining the service is free.  Here’s the description from their website:

Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,822 groups with 6,564,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free.

Once you join you’ll get email postings that list items wanted and offered.  You send an email and make a connection.

I’ve had two successful transactions via Freecycle.org in response to posts of items wanted. 

Freecycle # 1
Last fall a woman posted that she needed dishes. (She was having her family over for Thanksgiving dinner in her new apartment and didn’t have enough dishes.)  She was looking for a service for 8.  I had servings for six and replied to her around 11 in the morning. We talked on the phone and she came to my house mid-afternoon and picked up the dinnerware.  It felt good to give a set of dishes I rarely used and know that they were going to be put to good use.

Freecycle #2
Last week a woman posted that she needed baby items including a safety gate.  I had a gate that I’d only used once.  I responded to her and after email exchanges she picked up the gate two days later. 

My Daughter’s Freecycle Experience
After my first Freecycle experience, I told my daughter about it. (You know I can’t keep a good thing to myself!)  She joined in Charlotte, posting some household items she had. A woman who’d fallen on hard times responded.  While there, the woman mentioned that she was also looking for a dresser.  My daughter had a dresser she was planning to get rid of.  The woman mentioned that she had an oil painting that would work in my daughter’s home.  She emailed her a photo of it.  It was a painting of a calla lilly (daughter’s favorite flower).  It now hangs prominently in her family room.  No money changed hands.  And two people got things they needed.

Daughter has since given away other items, including baby formula.

Freecycle #3 –
I offered a collection of candles and a set of hat boxes on freecycle.  I received an enthusiastic response and made arrangements for pick-up.  This freecycler never showed.  So, freecycle doesn’t always work out but it works out well enough that it is one of the sites I browse regularly.

Also Free
Another good place to find and offer free items is Craig’s List.  If I ever have to move again, I would get my moving boxes from Craig’s List because people often offer them after a move.  There are also “curb alert” in the free section to let people know that something is going to be left on a curb and is free to the first taker.  I got rid of an exercise bike that way.

Freecycle – get rid of stuff you don’t need, get stuff you do need/want, keep unwanted stuff from the landfill.  Get satisfaction in the process.
I highly recommend.


(If you like this post, you may also like an earlier post I wrote – I Love Craig’s List.)

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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