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NextStep Recycling

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Job Training, Philanthropy, Public Foundations, Recycling, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: Bridge the digital divide. Educate the public on the value of reusing materials and the importance of proper recycling techniques. Protect the environment by diverting hazardous materials from the landfill. Reduce manufacturers dependency on raw materials.

Programs: Environmental education programs: community outreach and education promoting electronic waste reduction, reuse and recycling. Provides job skill training to disenfranchised individuals by training them to disassemble and sort recyclables, refurbish electronics and learn skills in a public and retail environment.

human services programs: computer/electronic reuse & distribution program - provides free or low cost computers and hardware to underserved populations, schools, and nonprofit organizations. One computer reuse retail location provides access to purchase low cost reused and recyled electronics, internet ready computers, cell phones and other technology for low income and disenfranchised populations. All computers for sale in the reuse retail location and those placed within the community have been refurbished by volunteers and trainees.

recycling programs: computer hardware and electronic materials unable to be repaired/reused are dismantled and recycled using environmentally sound practices and regional vendors. We provide individuals and businesses a convenient opportunity to recycle hard to recycle electronic waste, thus diverting hazardous waste from the environment and recycling it into a valuable resource. We also divert from the landfill paper, plastic, vinyl and cardboard.

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 1

Tried to call and spoke with their bookkeeper. She was very rude and untransparent with her companies finances (all publicly available via reporting). Was calling to arrange a large scale donation and was hung up on. I will not use this non-profit for any events or donations.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I had volunteered there 4 years ago. And they where rude. All they did not care about the volunteers all they cared about is getting the computers out. The employees that work there then an know do not care about the volunteers. Just to let you all know that I am a disabled person & I was kicked out there store this year. They do not care. But I wont people to know what they have done. So they do not do it to others. Hopefully they wake up and start respecting people that come into there store, people that volunteer there has well.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The people who run and work in the donation area are the rudest people ever. They have zero customer service skiills. They treat the customer as though they are nothing but garbage. I have never met a worse group of people in my life. The board of directors should get rid of the whole group in the donation area and the office people back there. They have little to no business since and run customers off. I will never go to the donation area again. Absolute worse experience of my life. would love to talk to a board member and tell them the things I experienced and witnessed while I was there. Those people are out of control. If they worked for me I would fire the lot of them and get some honest people in there.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i used to think that computers were almost magical. What makes them work is beyond me and out of my control. I was at the mercy of faceless huge companies. I have learned how to overcome the 'untouchable' nature of computers that kept me powerless. I take apart old computers and recycle the pieces.

Previous Stories
8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped with information booths- setting up, talking with the public, and shutting down. I loved being able to answer peoples questions and get feedback from them. I loved seeing people get excited about what they could do with their old e-waste! They people I worked with were always friendly and always seemed to want to help me with questions that I could not answer, or find out who knew the answer. I have worked in the warehouse tearing down computers for recycling and re-using parts. The feeling of personal accomplishment was tremendous! I got better very quickly. The combination of professionalism and friendlyness was wonderful. Any time I had a question, I felt that no matter how busy they were, there was time for me.

Kassandra K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began as a volunteer at NextStep Recycling to gain some recent work experience , and to brush up on some job skills that I haven't used in a while. While volunteering I learned that there is so much more to this company than I realized! Not only have I been educated on e-waste and ways to keep our earth healthier but I have been brought into a community of people who really care about what NextStep does and are proud to be a part of it. I am now an employee at NextStep and really have gained a "working family" as well as a job! NextStep gave me an opportunity to show them what I can do, and even prove to myself what I can do as well. Since starting as a volunteer I have been educated in e-waste, recycling, reuse options, and what other services NextStep provides to our community; I have completed enough volunteer hours to get a working knowledge of the dismantling and recycling process, and earn myself a computer of my own (built by a NextStep "techy"; I have been given the opportunity for a chance at full time employment with a growing company; and, last but not least, I have been given training and experience that will help me throughout the rest of my life in the "job world". NextStep has given me a chance to continue forward in my life, I hope that others get the chance to check this nonprofit out and see what NextStep can do for them as well!

Mike34

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started years ago in a business/client relationship with NextStep. In a very short time I fell in love with their work, their mission, their amazing and dedicated staff and volunteers and have since risen to a position on the Board of Directors. I have been in and around many non-profits over the years. NextStep; it's people, passion and triple-win results stand head-and-shoulders above all others. The triple win: keep toxins out of the waste-stream/environment, employee and train challenged populations to recycle, refurbish and process materials and finally gift computers to low-income individuals and schools to the betterment of our community, region and mankind!!! Mike Grudzien, 1.28.12

Isbel

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with NextStep since 1999. During that time I have watched hundreds of community members change their lives as a result of being part of this amazing organization. David (names changed, of course), a wonderful man with fairly significant disabilities, who gained confidence and experience that allowed him to find full time employment. Rick, who travels through life in a motorized wheelchair due to severe CP, who worked at NextStep countless hours to procure computers for himself and his family members. Angie, who came here on TANFF, no confidence whatsoever--and now works as a computer technician. I could go on and on. NextStep is a community of caring and committed folks who go the extra mile for each other.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for NextStep since the very beginnings, in 1999. What a place! Amazing. Everyone who comes for a tour is completely blown away. Wonderful staff, committed volunteers, incomparable results. NextStep keeps Lane County's ewaste out of the waste streams all the while giving people jobs, providing job and social skills training, and a "home" for some of Lane County's most marginalized members. Absolutely incredible.

Board Member

Rating: 5

NextStep is a non-profit that trains, educates, and employs folks from our community. NextStep gifts refurbished electronics to those who can't afford to purchase them (locally, nationally, internationally) and also offers items at low cost through their thrift stores. As a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher, NextStep uses only licensed software on computers and follows high ecological standards for recycling and disposal of materials.

4

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

NextStep Recycling gave me the opportunity to get out there and make a difference. To help others struggling with life's decisions and problems. I get to talk about this wonderful company and show volunteers that they too can make a difference and learn along the way. I am still in a learning process and NextStep has given me the confidence to succeed in my goals.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered long-distance from Southern California starting in 2003. I did eBay sales for Nextstep of old Macintosh items. I really liked the work, and Lorraine and Mike Day were fun and engaging people. My love of old computers, particularly Macintosh computers, pulled me like a magnet to Oregon in 2005 where I volunteered for many months refurbishing PCs and Macs for the cause. I loved the place, the work and the friendships I made while there. There is nowhere to be found another place like Nextstep. My memories of my time volunteering are pleasant ones. Although the work was hard and challenging, I never met any other vocation that made me feel as happy as when in the build area refurbishing computers. I lived my dream and loved my work. The days went by like hours, hours passed like moments. Thanks to Lorraine, I got to do what I'd always loved. I'm grateful there's a Nextstep Recycling.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a person who worked for and with NextStep since 2004, I can say that Lorraine Kerwood (the founder and Director) has worked tirelessly to keep as much e-waste as possible out of landfills and into the proper channels. NextStep is one of a very few operations who do the work that most would not choose to do. It can be dirty, grimy work but it needs doing. So, I will do what I can to keep Nextstep and it's mission thriving and expanding.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

NextStep Recycling has been a wonderful resource for our family to safely donate electonics and household items. On numerous occasions we have donated old computers and other items that were previously collecting dust and taking up valuable space at our house. Each time we have donated the process has been very easy and their staff was both friendly and knowledgeable. Additionally, it is well known that NextStep gives back to our community in various ways. I am so pleased that they are an important part of our community.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I work with youth that reside in treatment foster care. The youth that we serve come from the juvenile justice system. They are often deficient in social and employment skills. NextStep has been an incredible tool for us over the last two years. The workplace is dynamic, with an abundance of interesting opportunities for the youth we serve. We have had kids build computers, take apart computers, work in the store, paint, salvage materials, etc. We had one youth start as a volunteer, he illustrated that he was a dedicated worker and they hired him on. Many times I have come into the store or the warehoue to find my kids handling real responsibility, making them feel proud and accomplished. The managers there are patient and work hard with the youth to help them be successful. They also do a great job staying in touch with me about how my kids are doing. They are open to giving kids another chance and often another chance after that. I have had many meetings there to discuss a youths strengths and how best NextStep can help them attain there goals. NextStep is an awesome, incredible resource that has improved the lives of many kids that have been in our program.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an intern with Nextstep and continue to benefit from my experience even though I am not actively working at this time. I learned how to greet customers with a smile even when I was uncomfortable. I was given flexibility to learn at my own pace yet encouraged to try new technology and retail tasks in the reuse store. I applied as a volunteer because I believe in basic concept of think global act local. Nextstep is the best example of helping a person discover how to give to their community while rediscovering themselves! The more I was taught to reuse and rethink the value of materials the same lessons applied to learning my persnal value.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to volunteer at NextStep shortly after I took a tour of the facility given Lorraine Kerwood, the executive director. I was in a class of 'Master Recyclers' and the tour was a part of our course. I realized, people like Lorraine, and organizations like NextStep are what are going to help change the self-destructive path we're all on, and get the world sorted out to a point where everything WORKS, where efficiency, and sustainability save people money, and improve people's lives.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

NextStep rocks! I bought an HP printer/fax/scanner/copier there a few months back, and I'm really happy with it (and happy to get something used/keep something out of the wastestream/not contribute to something new being produced). I returned earlier this month to drop off a bunch of electronics--two laptops, copier, scanner, wifi cards, camera, calculator, etc. So happy these items will be recycled/reused to the extent they can. Bought a DVD/CD player on the same visit for $20. NextStep is a great and important community resource!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Whenever we have items of electronic nature, we run over to NextStep and add them to the huge collection. Attendents are always prompt and courteous. We are in and out in a few minutes. I am very glad that we have such a fine recycling facility in our town.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at NextStep and love it. I get to talk to people about all the great things everyone does at the shop. I help out in the recycling room and I get to go to events. I like protecting our community from the bad stuff in electronics. NextStep doesn't throw anything out. If they can't fix it, it goes to a recycler a few hours away. NextStep makes sure everyone gets a chance.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I was given a tour of NextStep recycling I was amazed. I was amazed because of the amount of work those great people were doing. They perform such an essential job for the community that goes unnoticed. I had no idea what NextStep was before the tour. I learned the history and also about all the great work they do beyond the borders of the United States. They provide jobs and job skill training to people that would not be given a chance at most organizations. I felt the need to get involved and I joined the Board of Directors.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Nextstep is an amazing contributor to our community and is doing a great job in making our world a greener place. I am so impressed with the amazing/friendly staff. They not only do great work but they do a great job at making you feel welcome.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Next Step has helped me recycle ina friendlier way! They are always able to help out the community in need! Like sending computers to other countries, now that is amazing!!

5

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been visiting NextStep for little over a year now, and I simply love the people that work there and what they bring to our community. I often find myself with old or recently unneeded electronics and I bring it too them not only to avoid a fine. Or to keep it out of the garbage, but they end up using the parts! They dont just throw these things away, they reuse and help, to keep even thought to be outdated technology, alive. Oh and the people. They are so dedicated. Even though I'm sure they don't get paid nearly enough they really seem to love working there, from the recycling area, to the store, I see only dedicated workers. I found I cant help but continue to come back. I love to find new treasures there they most would only think to get rid of. I find nothing but smiling faces and helpful queries when I enter that place. I can never seem to stay away. They deserve all the praise I can give. Thank you. You not only help keep a constant cycle of new and interesting electronics running through my house, but you keep our children and our community going with open doors and open hearts.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was the recipient of one of the recycled computers to use as part of his home program to assist with speech, language. cognitive skill acquisition and music. When my son was three year old, he had no expressive language, attending skills or ability to share information. Using the computer as a motivator and reinforcer, we discovered not only that he has an above average IQ, but also musical savant abilities. Next Step provides an invaluable resource to the Lane County Community, and gives so many of us hope in so many ways. A truly impressive business model and mission.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My company Catalyst Technology Group, donates many computers and hardware items to NextStep Recycling. We see the good, that the wonderful people at NextStep provide for our local residents and for the global community.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I bought a very old refurbished computer from their Reuse Store, avoiding wasting resources for a new computer. It's worked great for 2 years after they fixed a minor problem at the beginning. I donate metal and broken electronics monthly and their volunteers are always helpful and efficient.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've a volunteer staff member since 2003 doing a variety of tasks from labor to board support to software programming to hazardous materials consulting. NextStep Recycling is unequivocally one of the few truly win-win-win organizations. Volunteers win with job skills learned, donors win by giving unused electronics and purchasing refurbished goods, and the community wins by reducing waste and adding valuable skills to the community workforce.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

http://nextsteprecycling.org/about NextStep Recycling webpage says it all in their "About" page. This is fine, progressive organization based in Eugene that provides specialized job training opportunities in computers and electronics for low-income individuals. NextStep provides an opportunity to upgrade job skills in a valued technical vocation as well as jobs and potential jobs in our community. People who are part of the NextStep Recycling training program become empowered, able to provide a sustainable living and to contribute to the needs and demands of our community. Personally, I love NextStep Recycling, what it does and what it stands for. I have been a satisfied customer who has spent hours in the store just looking. And, I am privilaged to Lorraine, the director, as a peer and friend in the PSU Master in Social Work program. One thing that stands out about Lorraine is her passionate commitment to NextStep Recycling mission statement and vision: Our Mission Providing technology and training to children and adults who have barriers to employment and education, while protecting our environment and community from hazardous waste. Our Vision NextStep Recycling seeks to create a network of people who are committed to the shared values of preserving our environment, working to bridge the digital divide, and enhancing the quality of life around the world. Enough said.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at NextStep since 2006 and enjoyed every minute of it. Lorraine Kerwood is an inspiring presence and I've been infected by her enthusiasm. My labors there satisfy my goal to give back to the community and reduce the tons going to the landfill. I'm primarily a computer rebuilder, but I get many projects where I can invent solutions. It's what I'd be doing in my garage except I get to work with many wonderful people and feel good about it.

11

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with NextStep's partner organization "Partners in Solidarity," which is located in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The organization builds computer labs in rural schools around the city, using computers provided by Next Step, and provides computer education and community organizing skills to the teachers at those schools. Though my work was not directly with Next Step, I saw first-hand the effects of their work.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love NextStep! They provide such a valuable service to the community and have fun doing it. Dropping off donations couldn't be easier, the staff is always friendly, plus no charge like at the landfills! The events that they do always turn out to be fun and informative. Volunteering there is a blast, so many fun people to work with. You also get discounts on computers when you volunteer for them, plus valuable job skills!

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a member of the board of directors and as such I see ALL of the good works of this organization. Where do I begin? From putting people to work who would not otherwise have such an opportunity to keeping ALOT of really bad stuff out of our landfills to making technology available to those who have none, this organization is the bomb!

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

NextStep has contributed free computers for a Latino immigrant youth group, Juventud FACETA, that is overseen by a nonprofit with which I volunteer in Eugene. This type of generosity is routine for the organization. NextStep is also known throughout the area for its extensive recycling services, keeping toxic substances out of our landfills, which contributes immeasurably to the preservation of our environment. NextStep is committed to protecting our human rights to life and health. A key part of their program involves providing training and employment to those most in need in our community, and they do a wonderful job at this! I am so pleased to be able to write in support of NextStep!!!

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a graduate student, I was given the opportunity to learn about being on a board by taking advantage of the opportunity NextStep offered to students. After I finished my training position, I was so excited about our mission that I stayed on. As a board member, I have worked side-by-side with job trainees and volunteers deconstructing electronics and sorting them for recycling. The people I worked with were excited to be learning about technology, and the importance of recycling. They were also proud of contributing a solution to the problems of waste and pollution. NextStep makes an amazing difference in people's lives economically, by raising consciousness and through lowering our carbon footprint.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the best place in town for recycling your electronics. They actively educate the community and reach out to make sure the information is there for people like me who want to do the right thing for our community and for the environment. The people who work and run the organization are extremely committed to their cause and they go the extra mile to be helpful.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have met two employees at NextStep, including one that is participating in an internship at NextStep. The skills he received have truly been outstanding. The intern volunteered with a nonprofit that I work with and helped us to "wire-up" a benefit concert for the people of Haiti. He truly excelled in the role, and openly accredited the folks at NextStep for helping increase his skills and training. In my mind NextStep is providing this young intern with a key to a great professional future, something they do routinely in my community. I strongly recommend NextStep recycling, the people there are both inspiring and committed.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's so great to have a place where I know my electronics will get a new lease on life or will at least be disposed of responsibly. The volunteers are knowledgeable and passionate about their work; the staff is, too. And I love shopping there, too -- I can get items which will fulfill my need without breaking the bank and without filling up the landfill!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first heard about NextStep when they were collecting styrofoam after the holidays. After that first experience I found out just how much NextStep does. From providing a place where the community can recycle electronics and computers (which us Eugeneians are always looking for ways to recycle), to retrofitting old devices and reselling them. NextStep to a boon to our community. Such a simple and well executed idea.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

NextStep Recycling has positively impacted our community and even communities abroad, with their tireless work at keeping e-waste out of our landfills, refurbishing and then gifting technology to our children (who otherwise would not have access to this critical tool) and providing jobs and skills training to people once thought "unemployable". With Lorraine Kerwood at the helm, NextStep continues to be an amazing and vital organization in our community.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for NextStep since 2003 and have watched it grow into a dynamic organization that uses the best skills of everyone who volunteers and works there. Many people of all skill and needs have been given work skills training and encouragement there. They also give computers to those who can't afford them to help them bridge the digital divide and become an integral part of the community. I don't have anything but praise for their people and their programs.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Board member I have seenNextStep Recycling expand tremendously in the last several years. This organization, which receives donations of obsolete electronics, including computer hardware, (desktop computers, laptops, handheld games, cell phones, etc), household electronics (clocks, radios, lamps, etc), white (microwaves, stoves, dryers, etc.) and brown (stereos, VCRs, DVD players, etc.); also has a great training program. Volunteers in the recycling warehouse receive education on the inner workings of computers and other electronic hardware as they participate in the dismantling program. Volunteers can also learn how to rebuild computers in the refurbishing program. After a certain period of training, volunteers receive a computer to complete their education process. NextStep gifts computers directly to: children and adults living in foster care, persons experiencing disabilities, family members leaving domestically violent relationships, migrant worker families, under-funded schools and nonprofits.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in the job training program. I learned how to refurbish computers, test printers, and identify a variety of electronics hardware. I learned alot. All the staff are super friendly and respectful. I liked the training so much I am still volunteering.

8

Donor

Rating: 4

I love NextStep. As a former employee of Goodwill I used to be appalled at the amount of T.V's and other electronics that would go in the trash. NextStep provides a valuable resource to the community and our planet! Not only have I donated several car loads of electronics and monitors, but also bought a computer there over a year ago and it is still working great!!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Three things I love about NextStep Recycling: 1. I can recycle "anything with a plug," out dated electronics, working or not. Keeping these out of a landfill is a good thing. 2. I can find parts and even complete computer systems very cheaply. Why pay $15 for a simple power adapter when I can get one for $3 from NextStep. 3. If you need a computer and can't afford one, you can volunteer there and earn one. Not only do you get a computer, you learn a lot about how they work.