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Many local networks also allow "wanted" posts. If you're looking for a 10 gallon aquarium, check with Freecycle first. Odds are good someone may have one sitting in their basement collecting dust.
While each individual network may have slightly different restrictions, most are similar. There are generally four types of posts and these words must appear in subject line of your email: Wanted: xxx, Offer: xxx, Taken: xxx, or Found: xxx.
Generally, you should elaborate a bit in your emails as to why you are need something or why you are interested in picking up item. Please save your entire life story for another forum, but responses like "I'm interested" will likely get deleted.
On other hand, something like: "I'm a single mom who just moved here after my divorce. I'd love to pick up your washing machine tonight. I would greatly appreciate not having to squeeze in time to go to laundromat after work," will likely get consideration.
Be sincere. Don't make up a woeful story trying to get something. The intent of Freecycle is to help others by giving and getting. And at same time, help environment.
What a great, fun organization.
Joe Hickman, a former EPA web writer, is editor at HaLife.com ( http://halife.com )