I first heard about Freecycle on my birth board over on Babycenter.com. I thought it would be a great way to find some free baby stuff while also allowing me to give away some of Katie's old things. In Atlanta, the Freecycle group I joined was tightly moderated with post requirements and frequent notes from the group owners reminding us to be courteous and generous. And so I gave away about $600 worth of maternity clothes in the middle of the night by throwing them over the gate to a middle-aged woman, a whole mess of diapers and newborn sized clothing to a foster parent, and a vacuum to a small family in a beat-up van. How much did I receive? Nada. In order to get one of the many offerings on Freecycle, you must be glued to the computer and answer all posts immediately. I tried to get all sorts of things, but was never fast enough. Or maybe I didn't have a heart-breaking story to go along with my request. When I offered items, I'd say half the responses were "for a friend in need". Hmmm....wonder about that.
Now that I'm in Columbus, I am canceling my membership to the Freecycle community here. It really should be called something like "Cheapskate cycle" or "Freelunchcycle" or "Creepcycle". No one offers anything but ancient mattresses and unwanted pets, something the Atlanta group did not allow. All of the posts are WANT posts. Sure it's allowed, but certainly frowned upon. This week there have been requests for clothes, designer pets, whole houses worth of furniture, and even cars. I have a feeling most of these people aren't successful, but I am appalled by it. I've given away some baby items and a gallon of bleach. Hardly pricey items, but I was one of only a few offering anything at all.
Note to self: never offer bleach again. I got a response from a woman who was going to walk all the way from Phenix City, Alabama, to pick it up. Weird, huh? Well, she came to pick it up the next day, somehow bumming a ride, and I knew immediately why she was willing to walk for free bleach. She was probably a meth addict. I've seen pictures of what meth does to people. It had not even crossed my mind that a cleaner would be used for nefarious purposes. Makes me very sad.
Crying baby alert. More later.