Thursday, April 12, 2007 Twist On You Get What You Give

Wanted: Mother on northside of town needs stroller in good condition.

Offer: Truck load of concrete blocks. You pick up.

"What's this?" you might ask. It's a typical listing from, an online community of givers and receivers.'s motto? Changing the world one gift at a time. is unique. Unlike websites like Ebay or Craigslist, money never changes hands. Exactly as the name implies, the items listed are always free. After joining a local group, the members simply list items they want to give away or post a listing for something they need. Response is usually quick with several members competing to be the first to take the free item off your hands.

In 2003, began in the Tucson, Arizona area as a grassroots effort to promote waste reduction and save the pristine desert from being buried under landfills. The idea took off and today 4,017 online communities exist with over 3 million members recycling unwanted items. As claims, one person's trash is truely another's treasure.

There are only a few rules. Items must be completely free, legal, and appropriate for all don't try to freecycle old Playboy magazines. When an account is first set up, asks that a new member's first post be to offer up an item to give away.Give first, then receive.... sounds like something a mother would say and as in all areas of life, it works.

I joined my local Freecycle community a few years ago. Items go quickly in my town so in order to have an opportunity at the listings I receive constant updates when a new item is posted. I've been given everything from a on old cookbook to our family pet, a loyal Australian Red Heeler named Blue. And has afforded me an efficient way to get the items I no longer use into the hands of someone who needs them.

Freecycle is a fun alternative to garage sales and definately preferable to throwing a reusable item in the trash. And there are unexpected bonuses, like making a new friend during the exchange of a coffee pot or the satisfaction of helping a family that desperately needs a crib. is good karma for everyone...if you believe in that sort of thing.

To join the a follow the instructions on their website and happy giving!


Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic! Wish there was something like this in my area. Love you.
Tina Hutto

Lisa McGlaun said...


Check out the website. I found a group that's near where you work that might work. Just take the items to work with you and have the member pick them up that way.