I have always been a member of freecycle/freegle and even before this local similar groups as I would rather always give than sell items I no longer have a need for yet are still totally useable.
I have received some wonderful things that others saw as trash
The best thing was last year when a kind lady gave me her precious old sewing machine. She no longer used it but it was special to her.
I am mainly bedbound and had always knitted and crocheted but due to hand pain I could no longer do these - yes I offered all my yarn and it went to people who used it to make toys and other items raise money for charity.
I felt so lost and useless stuck here at home, usually in bed and not able to do anything when I suddenly wondered if I could use a sewing machine. I had never used one and had no money to buy even the cheapest machine. So I asked on my local group and after about 6 weeks I had a lady email me asking if I was still looking for one and I said yes. So I became a sewing machine owner and after watching many, many youtube videos I learnt to sew.
I gave myself a project, my youngest son was being married almost a year to te day of my husband collecting the machine and I worked towards learning enough to make my own dress for his wedding. I did it, I wore a silk and lace dress - luck was with me as someone on eBay was reducing their fabrics as they had moved to a smaller home and had silk and lace in the colours I so wanted and the price was within my budget - as I have discovered making your own clothes is not cheap. I have been lucky and found a few online fabric stores that sell end of lines nice and cheap but snag is if you want it you have to grab it there and then and so I have ended up with a rather large collection of fabric which I love - have actually just asked if anyone as any shelving in my local group, as my fabric lives in my bedroom as nowhere else for it and its just in boxes and piles and so there are times I need a certain fabric but cannot see it in my piles so end up having to buy more - I only make for family. I would love a faster machine and an overlocker but these are not things people usually part with for free and my budget doesn't run to such luxuries but my machine makes our clothes - we are bringing up our granddaughter, who has just gone off to university and she proudly wears what I make her.
I feel alive again - yes there are days I cannot do anything but then there are the days I can make something and I don't feel as if I am useless, a waste of space using oxygen others could use and all because of Freegle. I lost my friends in RL long ago ( well apart from one but she has her own health problems and so we hardly see each other )as I had nothing to talk to them about, now I wish I had some to talk about sewing to. I am what they call one of the invisible. I am 63 so who knows how long I have left, my conditions are ones that cause misery but not usually fatal, well not in the short term but my family know that they can take what they want after I go but then must Freelge everything else not sell them.
The photo is of me at my sons wedding wearing the dress I made - last time apart from a clinic appointment this week that I was out and even then could not stay the full day without going off to rest but I got there and I wore the dress I made, no one can really understand what that means to me.
So you could say in a way Freegle maybe saved my life.