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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: We inspire creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse.

Results: Every month, we divert an average of 3 tons of useful materials from landfills, and provide inspiration, materials, environmental education, and creative experiences for people of all ages. We are re-imagining waste as a resource for our community. Where others see a disposal problem, we see an opportunity to support creative projects and build a more sustainable future.

Target demographics: everyone

Geographic areas served: Pittsburgh, PA

Programs: The Center for Creative Reuse is an inspiring resource center and shop, where teachers, artists, families, and creative folks of all kinds can access ideas, encouragement, and affordable supplies for their creative projects. Reuse-a-Palooza is our hands-on creative program where people of all ages learn about conservation through making. We also facilitate custom-designed workshops for kids and adults. Our Think Outside the Box Box program provides professional development workshops and reclaimed materials for educators. Schools, libraries, early childhood education centers, and other organizations can join our ReCreative Partners program to encourage conservation while saving money on creative supplies. A Little Help from your Friends provides sponsorships to artists, educators, and community organizations for creative reuse projects. and sponsorship of creative projects.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Very happy that PCCR is part of the economy that helps residents of Pittsburgh and Southwest PA expand their understanding of what is an is not re-usable. Friendly staff and well curated materials in this store and programming help save landfill space, conserve embodied energy and inspire people to reach outside the normal production, consumption and disposal cycle.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Creative Reuse has such a positive, inspiring, and nurturing atmosphere. The store promotes programs that use reclaimed materials in a more expressive, artistic way, allowing everyone to learn to just play, experiment, and grow as a person. I love the progress I see in individuals with Creative Reuse. I saw a kid who hesitated building his robot toy later holding his finished toy with a HUGE smile. I also saw woman in her sixties go from saying "I could never do this...." and walking away to then trying to build something! I am so proud of these people and more at Creative Reuse for inspiring us to believe in ourselves.

Board Member

Rating: 5

PCCR is a radically inclusive community based non-profit that uses conservation and creativity to engage people of all ages and backgrounds. You can find almost anything in the PCCR shop, and at almost any neighborhood or cultural event, you will see the PCCR booth full of families crafting together.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Creative Reuse has so many great finds, and there's always something for everyone. You're sure to find all that you need, especially if you're into any art, crafts, sewing, knitting, crochet, interesting household decorations, amazing vintage finds, environmentally-friendly supplies for school and/or your home or office, re-claimed materials, business samples (paint, tile, plexiglass, wood, flooring...you name it!), and ALL of that, plus more, at insanely cheap prices! Not to mention some of the friendliest faces around, there to help you find all that you're looking for, provide inspiration and ideas, or just to show your newest art project off to!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am delighted that Pittsburgh has this center. When I need to describe in a few words what the PCCR is like I tell people that it's a goodwill for artists. I figure that can get them in the door, and then they'll discover that it's a lot more than just a place with great art supplies. The PCCR has to be experienced and words don't really do it justice. So I'm a big supporter. I'm a donor, a shopper and a volunteer. I get so much inspiration from volunteering because the people that the PCCR attracts are the folks that you want to connect with. They are fun and creative and free thinkers and innovators and they'll expand your horizons and motivate you to go out and make stuff! The staff is topnotch and their passion for repurposing and diverting waste from landfills is apparent. Go there today and check it out!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PCCR does so much for providing the community with easy access to materials you can use for crafts, art projects, and anything else you can imagine. On top of providing Pittsburgh with endless weird/wonderful things to buy, the environment at PCCR is one of boundless creativity and imagination. It's an addictive, exciting place to spend time and I'm so grateful this place exists.

2 October L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The PCCR is a nonprofit, self-sustaining business that began out a van years ago. The staff and volunteers are extremely pleasant from my experiences. You never know what you are going to find here - medical supplies, beads, vintage photography thingymabobs, school supplies, shells, wine corks, paints, leather, molds, stencils...I could go on. Forever.

Plan to go when you have AT LEAST an hour to browse!

Check their website regularly, they have a pay-what-you-can 'open studio' where you can use items in the bulk section to finish a project...or start one! They also have many community outreach programs and FUNdraisers!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love is the only word I can use to describe this place filled with inspiration, material, matter and meaning. Love.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

PCCR is an amazing place! I love the atmosphere, the staff, and the STUFF! It could be a disorganized mess, but it's NOT! Everything is neat, the place is clean, and the staff is ever so helpful in directing you to what you need. Great experience every time I go there!

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Center for Creative Reuse is an amazing resource for the art community, educators, and makers of all kinds. They have outreach activities that are varied, fun, and serve a wide range of creators from little ones, to scout troops, to the wine bar crowd. CCR has a great staff and volunteers who keep things incredibly organized. Every time I go there I feel inspired to make art!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love coming here for inspiration! Theres always new materials flowing into this place, and so many creative people volunteering who are ready to help you. I always leave here feeling inspired, ready to start new projects, and grateful that there is a place that has the same environmental standards that I set for my own home. One persons trash is another persons treasure; the center for creative reuse is a warehouse of treasures!

I also love to bring my children here, they can fill a bag for a small price tag and we can feel good about the consumerism for once, because we are helping to reduce waste in landfills rather than adding to it. What a great way to teach kids about recycling & reusing. Children have naturally creative minds, I suggest you bring yours here and see what great ideas for reuse they come up with!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each time I go into Creative Reuse I find a ton of little treasures - usually well beyond what I went in there for in the first place. Staff is friendly, helpful, and definitely know a ton about different materials. The amount of waste kept out of landfill because of this one shop in Pittsburgh is pretty incredible!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Creative reuse is my first stop when looking for project supplies. It's easy to navigate, staff is helpful and friendly, and the inventory - for a spot relying solely of donations - is remarkable. Despite all of this, the best part of creative reuse is the magical things I find when I'm not looking for anything in particular. The pricing is fair and their mission is straightforward and strongly executed. I'm so blessed to have them in my neighborhood!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely LOVE PCCR!! I discovered PCCR several years ago and I am a regular shopper. I also always recommend PCCR to those looking for supplies - or just a good item! On many occasions I have brought out-of-town guests to PCCR, as I feel it's such a cool and meaningful asset to our city.

Pittsburgh is a richer place for PCCR and I hope they continue to grow! My creativity is always sparked when I visit, and the useful purchases I've made help to improve my life.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

There is a ton of fun to be had at Creative Reuse. Every time I walk in, there is something new! It's a great resource for anyone that loves crafts, vintage items, curiosities, you name it. It's nice to see so much being saved from the landfill and going back into the community. My favorite Creative Reuse find was a huge box of frame corners that I got from the bulk section. My fiance and I are making tons of cool art with them, and they're so much fun to work with! I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't gone yet.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a wonderful place! So many programs and activities to serve the community, encouraging creativity in all ages.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

A portion of lyrics from the song "For Good" from the play 'Wicked' reflect my feelings for PCCR. Their existence and ordered methods changed my thinking about objects. It's a ( too long) story that started in 2014 with my first donation to PCCR. I now have a new mantra about unused or parked things...Put It In Play. That phrase helps me to set things free for others to use or repurpose.

The lyrics I referenced...with one slight edit. ..

I've heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them and we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true but I know I'm who I am today ( in part) because I knew you (PCCR)

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at PCCR for over a year and will continue to come in and help out each and every week. They provide a critical service to better our community. The employees and other volunteers are wonderful and they are most appreciative of the time and effort I contribute.

Marsha Stern

3 Stephanie165

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is awesome. Really, who else has classes, mannequins, jewelry, cards, AND the friendliest people you ever wanted to meet? There should be more places like this.

3 Sara111

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started going to PCCR as a crafter looking for more sustainable (and cheaper) items to use in my half-baked creative projects. Not only did I find what I needed (for under $5 no less!), but also a wonderful store, dedicated to the conservation of materials, building of community, education of all ages and expanding the imagination.

Erika and her team make magic happen daily for the outstandingly small budget that they have. They provide community crafting programming in their open studio sessions; run a beautifully organized, welcoming store; provide youth education around creativity and conservation; and -- not to mention -- provided a home and a potential future use for 88 tons of materials that were bound for the trash dump.

I am proud to not only be associated with such an amazing organization, but also have a role in its future direction. I invite you to stop by the store and fall in love.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I discovered Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR) in the spring of 2014. It's staff, volunteers, and board are driven by its mission to promote resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through material reuse. PCCR achieves this mission in various ways, including my favorite, community outreach events such as Reuse-a-Palooza programs and other cool youth-based art-class-like workshops.

-KT