Not sure at this point where I found this, but go check out Freecycle. It's a group of local mailing lists around the U.S. (and apparently elsewhere in the world) for people to list things that they're giving away. You watch the list, and ask for things you'd like, or post things you'd like to offer.
So far, we've given away several things that were usable, but not worth the effort to try to sell, e.g. a very old but working laser printer, an old bed frame, a washer/dryer that we were replacing, several guinea pigs (with cages), and soon an old bike. We've also gotten a couple of things as well, e.g. some astronomy books, and a gas grill. The grill needed some cleanup and a new burner, but it was in better shape than the one we gave away when we last moved due to lack of space in the truck, so we're happy.
But Freecycle is quite the interesting place. In our case, the list covers our county; I'm guessing other lists might cover more or less area. Our list sees maybe 100 messages a day, which implies that there are plenty of people locally watching it as well as posting to it.
Worth checking out, or even better, giving something to.