Gemachim are great because they allow people to share stuff they don't necessarily have a current use for. It also gives people an opportunity to stretch their finances by not needing to buy every single thing they need. This can be especially helpful for controlling the costs of weddings, bar mitzvahs and baby stuff related costs. It is the true meaning of Jews looking out for one another put into action.
The local phone directory "Shemeshphone" has more than 100 categories listed under Gemachim. The listings themselves take up 14 pages. Items covered include basics; clothing, food, loans, cell phones, chairs, baby stuff, chick peas, laundry detergent etc... They also include things that are a little more unusual; snake catching, roof rack, lost objects, emergency auto repair, table cloths, wigs, vacum cleaners, clocks, ladders, DVD players etc.... My favourite is still the השבת אבידה - ילדים Lost Children Gemach. We have 5 of them for all of Bet Shemesh.
I always thought the list was very thorough and complete. Then I saw this sign in our building.
Yes, the sign is for an ice cream gemach. Not only do I live in a city where ice cream is considered an essential service but it is being run out of the building we are moving to next month. I love this country!!!