I'm a fan of freecycle. (Perhaps I should say that I'm a Freecycle Fan. That has a catchier ring to it, don't you think?) I first heard about freecycle a couple of years ago, when one of my friends was planning her wedding. As she was making her preparations, one of her co-workers mentioned that someone had offered a wedding dress on our local freecycle site. To skip to the end, my friend ended up with a beautiful wedding dress, with her only cost being some minor alterations.
I remember thinking at the time what a great service this was, and I checked out my local freecycle group and got myself admitted onto the mail list. For about a year or so after that, I would get messages listing different things people had to offer. I never really had a need for any of the offers, so I didn't get more involved than that, but it was quite interesting to see the kinds of things that were available.
Then last summer, I got looking at our back patio area. We had a porch swing there that I used to love to sit in while I read or wrote in my journal, or whatever suited me. However, it was getting kind of old and run down, and I found myself using it less and less. The canopy had sustained a rip from sun damage, and earlier in the summer I had found that a colony of wasps had started building a nest under the seat. As soon as I found it, I quickly doused it in wasp spray, but ever since that experience, I never felt quite as comfortable sitting there. As our use of it decreased, it seemed to take up more and more of our space back there.
At the end of the summer, I decided to post it on freecycle, and see if anyone was interested in making it their own. I was completely honest about the age of the swing and the rip in the canopy, and I required that anyone who wanted the swing be willing and able to come pick it up and haul it away on their own. I was AMAZED at the response. Within two hours of my post, I received five different responses. Within a day I had received upwards of twenty. It was great! I chose a "winner", and within a week the swing was out of our backyard and had found a home where it would be loved and appreciated.
Since that first happy venture, I've had several other great experiences with freecycle, both with giving AND with getting. Now that we're on the hunt for baby trappings, I've been more diligent about checking the site, and I've been able to get a bassinet and infant bouncy chair, both in really good condition. In an added bonus, when I went to pick up the bassinet, the owner (who turned out to be a girl that I had known and lost touch with years previously) also gave me a whole bunch of maternity clothes and infant clothes in the bargain. So, that was an especially nice treat.
I've never met a person on freecycle who wasn't gracious, kind, and just happy to help out. It's been a great experience for me, and has strengthened my faith in the goodness of people in general.
And there you have it. My testimonial to freecycle.
In other news, all is well. Eric and I are probably going to see Iron Man tonight (Eric's been anticipating it's arrival for nearly a year), and then we're off to beautiful San Francisco for a few days. My cold has improved significantly, and I've gone from waking up 6-7 times per night with coughing fits to just once or so. Miraculous!
And that's it for today.
p.s.-Readers Digest did an article a couple of months ago that talked about freecycle. Imagine my pride when I read it and realized that for once, I was ahead of the times. Joyous joy!