Ruths Reusable Resources
Rating: 4.98 stars 80 reviews
Location: 39 Blueberry Rd Portland ME 04102 USA
Results: Each day, throughout the school year, children in Maine attend school without the needed pencils, paper, and other basic supplies. At the same time, businesses through out the United States dispose of these same basic items. 3R's transfers those unwanted supplies to children and their teachers. It is working. Since 1994, 3R's has given away more than $50 million worth of surplus furniture, paper, books, office supplies and computers to Maine schools and non-profits. Over 1 million pounds of reusable materials have been saved from Maine landfills and transferred to schools. 3R's was named 2003 EcoMaine recycler of the year.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 70,000 students and over 8,000 teachers/staff can benefit from what 3R's has to offer.
Geographic areas served: The State of Maine, parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts
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I began volunteering at Ruth's in 2005 when they were still working out of Bessey School in Scarborough, Maine. At first, I wanted to be involved to get the experience of volunteering. One day, a first grade teacher came in and said that she didn't know how she would get books for her kids if it weren't for Ruth's. I love children, so hearing this made me want to continue to help out. Seeing the community support Ruth's as they were faced with the challenge of having to move out of the Bessey school was also very touching. People and corporations came along side Ruth's to make sure that this amazing resource would not have to close it's doors. Today, Ruth's not only puts supplies into the hands of teachers (which then go to children); now, non-profits and the general public are able to benefit from the donated supplies. The non-profit members of Ruth's have a huge impact on my community - the new public store allows Maine's small business owners a place to go to get discounted supplies, and saves them TONS of money. I could go on and on about Ruth's, but the best way to learn about what they do is to go there and check it out for yourself. There should be a resource center in every major city in the U.S. - Why do businesses throw away brand new supplies? Why should we allow those things to clutter up landfills? If you are "Green", you'll LOVE Ruth's. If you are an educator - you'll NEED Ruth's, and if you are an artist, you won't believe the number of items available to you. Check it out!
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
my own life - as a small business owner I have been able to stock my supply closet with office supplies and furniture. Unless I found these items on the side of the road, there is nowhere else I could find them at such a low price (not even Wal Mart!). My supply closet has been filled for under $20. While in college - I have had all the supplies I need to help my success - and give partial credit to my 3.9 GPA to that. As a Sunday school teacher, I always have supplies because my church is a member.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Find a way to supplement the budget with money to hire additional employees.
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What is this organization's top short-term priority?
To provide school children with the basic school supplies needed to be successful in school.
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