Many of the people posting with sob stories also seem to be the ones who don't show up to pick up the items *or* want you to drive a couple hours out of your way to bring it to them *or* are disappointed if free item is "blue" instead of "green" *or* demand other stuff you haven't offered.
My freecycle group is actually pretty good, but I still get the occasional sob story response. I'm even willing to give <item> to them, but they don't bother responding to my email saying that they can have it...
I just had this experience in the last couple of weeks. We had a microwave available, but I wanted to wait for Wanted posts so it would go to someone who needed it. One person didn't reply to my offer for three days. I didn't think too much of it (she stated in her post that she was a single mom with three kids whose microwave just broke and she couldn't heat up her children's food). When I, initially, didn't get a response she wanted our microwave, I just figured she received one from someone else (which is what happened to the first poster wanting a microwave; this was the second one). When she did respond a few days later, I thought it was odd that someone who was so desperate for a microwave would wait so long. However, she did state she wanted it but also stated she couldn't come get it (which, for me, is a no-no; I think if you want/need something, the least you can do is go get said item). Still, I thought, "No problem; the county isn't very big so I'm okay with taking it to her" (because we really needed to get rid of the extra microwave; it was taking up a lot of space). The group she posted to is out of a city near my house so while I wouldn't typically drive to give someone something he/she wanted, I thought I'd make an exception because she sounded desperate (although I did wonder why she didn't state that in her original post).
Anyway, she told me what city she lives in, which isn't even in my county and is about a 1-1.5 hour round trip. Still, not a problem if I had cause to be in that area, but I only this year drove out in her direction (after living in this area for three years) so I said if she could find a way to come get the microwave, it was hers. I never got a response, not even a thank you for the offer. Now, I understand she might've gotten one from someone else who could and would drive it out to her, but I'd expect, at the very least, the politeness of a thank you (and to be understanding that while I'm willing to give you a microwave I no longer need or want, I'm not up for spending valuable gasoline and putting wear and tear on my car to get it to you; you have to do make more of an effort than send e-mails).
Fortunately, the third person who needed a microwave was very responsive, stated all her needs and info (couldn't afford a new one, had no success with trying the garage sales, gave her city location and that she could only pick up in the morning). I almost didn't respond because I'd had no success with the first two Wanted posts (the first person got a microwave via Craigslist; I was glad she was polite enough to say, "Thank you, but my need has been covered, thanks!"). The third person got the microwave, got it quickly and did write back to thank me for it (I didn't know until I received the reply that it was gone so, one more plus, she was quiet about her pick-up).
I can see how the sob stories can be frustrating. I know I shouldn't analyze someone's story, but the thoughts that did go through my head about the second responder were stuff like "Gee, guess she didn't really need one after all if she can't figure out how to come get it" or "guess she responded so late because she was going down the list trying to find someone willing to drive all the way out to her location." For the group she posted in, her city is about a 1.5-2 hour round trip. I was wondering why she didn't post in one of the other groups that was closer to her (like one for her city or one of the main ones in my county). I also wondered why she didn't say upfront that she couldn't pick up the microwave, especially given that most people would not conclude she lives in a city so far away. Stuff like this makes me wary about answering other wanted posts. Still, I read them because if I have something someone else wants (and I really don't want it in my house anymore), I'm willing to provide it (but, yes, I can do without the sob stories because, frankly, I just can't help it the evil thoughts that will sometimes go through my head first, much as I'd like to not judge others for the why of their needs).