Twice in the past week we have been amazed by Freegle, Freecyle and the kindness of people. If you haven’t already, you really need to check out these websites.
Pears and Toothpaste
I mentioned in Sourcing Pears for Making Pear Cider or Perry for free that we had advertised on Freegle and Freecycle. We were looking for unwanted pears people might have on their trees as we wanted to juice them rather than them going to waste. Ultimately, we wanted to attempt to make perry, or pear cider. 2 people replied, plus a lovely friend in the village.
We have ended up with masses of pears (more since this picture was taken), all for free. One man lent us his ladder so we could pick them, one lady had already picked them for us when we arrived.
The lady who had picked the pears for us told us her story, as people often do on Freegle collections. She has cancer and cannot cope with strong flavours. We asked if she’d tried Oranurse, the only toothpaste our youngest son can stand because he hates mint. She hadn’t heard of it.
We went home intending to pick up a tube of it and pop it back to her as a surprise. We then realised we were on our last one. It isn’t available in any shops near to us, we buy it online. So I emailed the kind lady to say I’d ordered some more and would pop a tube in to her.
This amazing person emailed me back and said: wait a week and I’ll have a jar of fresh honey for you from our bees.
As if she doesn’t have enough to think about.
3 days later we went to pick up some homebrew equipment from another generous man. We arrived to discover he was offering us half the contents of his garage! All his demijohns, half demijohns and cleaned bottles which fit perfectly in his homemade wine racks… which he also gave us for our cellar. He used to be a keen homebrewer but didn’t plan to do it anymore.
Sadly, his story involved cancer once again, that of his wife (thankfully now doing well). Their lives had been turned up-side-down in recent years and he’d just drifted away from making wine. He seemed so delighted to give it all to us. My small thank you gift, a jar of homemade strawberry jam, felt woefully inadequate.
We are now in the process of fitting this lovely man’s wine racks onto our cellar wall. They fit beautifully, I can’t wait to send him a photograph.
Honestly, the kindness of people astounds me everyday.
Freecyle and Freegle
Freegle and Freecycle are both non profit movements set up to help people to give away their unwanted stuff, to avoid it ending up in landfill. We have given away masses via these sites over the years. Every old sofa we’ve ever replaced, even the water stained one following the bathroom leaking through our lounge ceiling (don’t ask), have gone to new homes. Offcuts of carpet and laminate flooring. The few tiles left over after a tiling job. Cardboard boxes. Old jiffy bags. There’s always someone that can make use of them.
We’ve picked up bags of jars for pickling which someone had painstakingly washed and removed labels from. Only today I freecycled a fridge that we no longer need from our cellar. You cannot introduce cash into the transaction as that is never allowed, but we always take along a little something to say ‘thank you’, like some cake or a jar of jam. People who have come to collect have, in turn, brought chutneys and freshly laid eggs from their chickens.
If you haven’t come across these organisations yet I strongly encourage you to take a look. There’s something very satisfying about your old unwanted ‘stuff’ being put to good use by someone else.
And the kindness of strangers will truly astound you.
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