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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Art of Recycle

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Environment, Recycling

Mission: Our mission is to develop, heal and grow community through recycled art. We aim to inspire more art and assist artists in developing skills for art creation by using and re-using the available resources around them. Our objective is to teach people how to create "art with purpose" reusing discarded, unwanted, and excess items; creating generations of artists and crafters who are more environmentally conscious.

Results: To date we have inspired, encouraged and brightened the lives of thousands of individuals. Free Crafting Area: Our Craft Castle has benefited tens of thousands of children, adults and individuals with special needs by providing a safe haven where people can craft at no cost. This particularly benefits families and special needs community with limited budgets. Thrifty Craft Store: We have successfully kept tons of trash out of our local landfill as well as provided tens of thousands of people with low cost craft supplies that they may not otherwise have been able to afford. Free Teachers Section: We have created a successful program that provides free crafting materials and other teachers supplies to teachers of every grade level and their students of every skill level. Volunteer Opportunities: The general public, people doing community service, students, seniors and people with intellectual disabilities are all welcome to volunteer at AoR. We provide individuals with tasks that are suited to their particular skill levels. We have teamed up and networked with other organizations such as local school districts, local businesses and other non-profit organizations in order to assist and facilitate them with needed materials and occasional funding in order for their organizations to function more smoothly.

Target demographics: All potential and current artists and crafters and to facilitate the teachers of art.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25000

Geographic areas served: Ephrata, PA and we facilitate people within a 100 plus mile radius. We affect people globally through our social media sites and website.

Programs: Art of Recycle is a community arts resource center for families, educators and the public. We offer a free crafting area, free teachers supplies, low-cost art materials to the public and assist children and special needs individuals with social skills education. At Art of Recycle we provide a free crafting area during our hours of operation, which is open and available to everyone of every age as long as they are capable of crafting at any skill level. Our crafting area is stocked full of all sorts of free crafting supplies that are donated to us by the community around us. We also provide the use of tools and equipment (such as sewing machines, hot glue guns, stamps, cutters and scissors, heat guns, and much more) that many people may not otherwise be able to afford, and we instruct people on how to use those tools if they need instruction. We are community supported. We have developed a thrifty craft store that is stocked with new and used items donated by the public. Revenue from the craft store helps to pay our rent, utilities, insurance and other overhead costs. The thrifty craft store is full of donated, new and slightly used, craft supplies that are sold at affordable prices making crafting an affordable hobby to anyone and everyone. Art is a necessity.

Community Stories

141 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization and destination. I don't know where to begin! I teach and facilitate art education in several ways, and Art of Recycle will not only help me do it in a more ecological, economical, communal, and inspiring way - they'll do all that while growing from our connection and thereby helping more people with every patron they influence. My head was spinning from how sublimely impacting this model of cooperative economy can be.

Jennifer L.13

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite places in Ephrata. I love being able to spend quality time with my kids and the craft castle is a great place to do that. A great way to try out a new craft without spending a lot of money on materials. The staff goes above and beyond to help and you can tell how much they enjoy this. I wish every town was as lucky to have such a wonderful place like this.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love this store! They have very reasonably priced crafts and supplies. They also have a program for teachers or PSO members to recieve supplies for upcoming projects for free! The staff is AlWAYS friendly, helpful and kind. There is also the crafting castle where kids can create and play. Definitely recommend this store!

Tammy M.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a kindergarten teacher I end up spending a lot of money on materials for the classroom. Art of Recycle is amazing! I always find things that I can use in my classroom. They have everything from art supplies to colored printer paper and plastic baggies. I always leave with my arms full! Thank you for being so generous.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I’m a brand new special education teacher in an urban school that doesn’t have much to offer in the way of supplies. Most teachers purchase teaching materials out of their own pockets. I learned about The Art of Recycle from one of the school’s art teachers and decided to check it out.

Wow! Was I amazed at what this place had to offer! There’s a basement room filled with anything and everything you can imagine to stock up supplies in the classroom! And it’s all free for teachers!

I left the store with gallon sized plastic bags filled with crayons, pens, colored pencils, and markers; stacks of colored construction paper, books, pencil sharpeners, posters, a cork board, and much more! All for free!

If you’re a teacher and in need of supplies or have supplies cluttering up your classroom that you no longer need, I would highly recommend visiting this store to stock up and/or donate what you no longer need!

Not to mention the absolutely beautiful craft/play room for your kids! The next time I go I’m taking my young grandkids with me to make a craft and play in the playroom!

I highly recommend checking this place out - teachers, crafters, artists, and anyone looking for supplies or items to express your creativity!!

Liliana A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love art of recycle! We visit a couple times a month and always leave with some goodies. During our last trip, I was only the hunt for items for my son’s chemistry birthday party. I found pipettes, goggles, centrifuge tubes, and more.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Impacting others lives and growing community are just a little of what I witness within and beyond the doors of Art of Recycle. These two lovely folks are very dear and move mountains beyond any possible fear to see dreams become reality. Working countless hours with genuine care for each other, their employees, volunteers and all whose stride guides them to AoR. It’s always an exciting anticipation to see what they create next. They prove that boundaries don’t exist and create space where imaginations come to life.

We’ve traveled a distance to witness the extraordinary of a very dear lifetime friend. Creative and resourceful always.

1 Emily A.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've visited AoR a few times now, and am always stunned at the options. I am a teacher, so I get access to some free supplies. I've helped support our science programs thanks to the supplies made available through AoR! We have been able to keep doing dissections with 9th grade students and other labs requiring some expensive replacement tools I was able to get FREE! I've also shopped there to get supplies for my school because they have such an awesome variety of odds and ends. I feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid when there - but my collection is never complete! I can't thank AoR enough for their support!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is awesome. I started bringing my child there to do crafts several years ago. The craft castle is awesome. They also have a lot of inexpensive classes for just about any kind of art you can think of. They especially help teachers by providing lots of art supplies for their classrooms at no expense. AOR has been a favorite place to just browse - you never know what treasures you might find - and that includes the Chelas, Mr Special, and their phenomenal staff.

1 Kris F.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been shopping at the Art of Recycle for over two years. I love it more than any store at the mall. I also utilize the free teacher resources and recently used some stuff from AoR for a family activity, Upcycled Monster Mash, at the Erie Art Museum, in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Stella B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I remember being introduced to Art of Recycle while they were still in the old building. I think it’s really awesome that there’s a place to donate old crafting items or other various items instead of just throwing them away.

The fact that they give teachers free supplies is amazing and I’m constantly telling my friend who teach or know teachers about Art of Recycle. Staff is super friendly and helpful. They will always be my go to when I need craft supplies.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This place is amazing. Changing inventory, unique finds. The staff is friendly and helpful. The owners are making such an impact in the community and people’s lives.

Shelli Montague T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We fell in love with Art of Recycle when they first opened. We would carve out a couple hours every so often to go in and look around. I don't think we've ever left there without finding something we could use for a project. Sadly, we have moved too far away to visit any more, but it's definitely a priority if we ever get back to PA again! We also follow them on Facebook every day, and use Smile at Amazon to help fund their charity. They are that wonderful!

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been going to Art of Recycle since they were in a tiny little building in the center of town. I've watched them grow so much in the community. It's the first place we go when we need items for our projects at home. Chelas and Mr. Nobody are almost always there, eager to help us find something, or share in our excitement over our projects. It's going to rip a hole in our hearts when we move too far away to visit them.

Jayme J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AoR is my happy place in Ephrata. It is a fantasy land full of discovery, unique things and second chances. My kids thrive and their creativity explodes into a myriad of onspiration and imagination.

Beth F.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a gem! This is such a great organization that offers the ability for teachers and other educator types to stay within budget when trying to meet the needs of their activities for kids. I try to visit at least once a month and always manage to find just the thing I need.

Tashina L. H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is one of my absolute favorite places to go. You can't absolutely love it. The staff is phenomenal. If I can give them 10 Stars I would. We are usually there at least once a week.

Allison W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art Of Recycle is such a great store and craft center with an amazing mission! What they do for the community and teachers is so wonderful.

Amy M.16

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are amazing for the community! My kids love going here.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is the best place ever! The love and passion they put into their store is amazing. The staff is very helpful and personable. I am a teacher at a before and after school program and love going into the teacher free area. The children in my care benefit so much off of this area. We use the plastic cups for building, art supplies for crafts, books for our quiet area and even some dramatic play items. Thank you for ALL you do! Art of Recycle is AWESOME! I wish I could give them more then 5 stars!!

Beth Marie C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Even IF I have nothing in particular that I am looking for at Art of Recycle, I always become inspired with the donated objects I come across to work into a craft or project to go along with a lesson at my in home daycare. From simple magnets to paper, wooden blocks or even simple pipe cleaners.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is one of my absolute favorite places. I am so happy I found out about them. An affordable place to find an amazing variety of supplies to bring my many creations to life. And every trip there inspires new ideas as well. The staff is always friendly and patient & I love that they provide opportunities for those with special needs to learn job skills, etc. there. It’s wonderful how much they help out teachers as well! Basically, AOR is like an artist’s little slice of heaven on earth.