Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thanks Freecycle!

Recently, we have had a string of good luck with Freecycle. Perhaps because the computer is always on, and is next to my kitchen? Sometimes nothing comes up that we need, or no one responds to needed posts. But lately, I've been feeling very blessed.

Huey learned to ride a scooter before his birthday, to keep up with the other kids. I asked for one, but no one had one. A few weeks after I bought him one for his birthday, he finally learned to ride his bike. The one he got when he turned 4. A couple weeks later, someone posted with a bike suitable for a 7-8 year old. Rob got it, fixed it up, and it's been awesome. Lucy broke Meg's tricycle seat, so I asked for a new trike. Someone responded, but it was on a moving truck and would have to wait a couple weeks. That was fine. We picked it up, and she loves it. I asked for a jogging type stroller, and got a response. The stroller was not in the conditioner the person had said it would be, and has needed some work. But the girls love to sit together and have Daddy push them around the neighbourhood. I find it too heavy and awkward with two girls (75lbs!), and it has steering issues.

Lately, I've passed on some towels, sock stretchers, a Jolly Jumper, and loaned the giant dog crate among other things I can't remember (so obviously I didn't need!).

I have been searching for a desk, hutch, or dresser for a messy corner in our family room. I love antiques but don't get the opportunity to shop. I was just starting to resign myself to shopping at IKEA again. Then, the woman I got the trike from posted an antique dresser!! OMG, her fingers were probably still on the keyboard when I sent my response, LOL. We arranged to go get it that night. We got there, and started to hear the story.
Lucy, about 43" tall, in front of the new cabinet.
It had been her FIL's, was about 40 years old (that's antique?), and had travelled around the States and to Brazil (where she met her husband). Once we got it home, we found the manufacturer's stamp inside. It was made in Hanover, Ontario, about an hour to the north!There was just no room in their new basement. Overall, it is a great, solid piece, weighs a ton.
The three compartments inside will be for the kids---three kids; three sections!! Fate!
There is one styling element we're a little iffy on, LOL.
But Rob is excited to re-finish it and it will get well used and appreciated here.

Then, late last night, another woman I've exchanged things with before posted a jogging stroller! We exchanged emails, she sent a picture, and we're excited like Christmas morning!
Detail of the top. The trim is solid, and the top is a veneer. I think there's more veneer, but 40 year old veneer is probably better than current veneer!

But isn't Freecycle for poor people? I hear you ask. No. The original idea behind Freecycle was to exchange goods that still had some use to someone, instead of putting them in the landfill. You know those little things---you buy the wrong vacuum bags, you've got too many muffin tins, the kids don't like their movie collection anymore. It's a way to network and find new owners for things, often things you wouldn't bother putting an ad in the paper for. Like, we got duplicate copies of a computer game from Wendy's. Sure, we could afford to buy Huey a new bike, but, being frugal people, recycling comes first. Kids grow quickly and he'll use it for only a year or two and there's no younger sibling to pass it to, but we'll re-Freecycle it. It IS a good resource for lower income people, particularly for baby items, but my experience has been that posting 'wanted' ads are not very productive---responding to 'offer' ads yields better results, but if you're in a time crunch, that's not always possible.

I've met some really nice people through Freecycle too. In fact, one of my friends---we chatted through Freecycle posts and then realized after she read my blog, that we had met a few times in a parenting class! Since then, I got her to join the Orangeville Band, and we and our kids, hang out together too. I also bought my third knitting machine through a Freecycle member!

Sometimes we get an item that doesn't work out---the original double jogging stroller, an old sewing machine--so we re-gift on Freecycle. But lately, I have been feeling REALLY blessed and lucky to be part of this Freecycle group. With Rob not getting overtime pay anymore, finances are a little tighter, so every little bit helps. I highly recommend you search out Freecycle in your area. I think the main site is It's operated through Yahoo groups though. If there's not one for your area, START one!

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