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Recycle for Change

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Humanities, International, International Development, Promotion of International Understanding

Mission: Recycle for Change’s mission is to fight worldwide pov- erty, to empower ordinary people to do the same, to reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable fu- ture for all. Recycle for Change recognizes that the earth’s resources are finite and that preserving these resources is crucial to the well being of future generations. Since 2000, Recycle for Change has been dedicated to helping those most affected by global climate change and poverty in the US and abroad. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that collects and recycles used clothing and shoes to protect the environment and support sustainable development work across the globe. At this time our largest and most known program is the second-hand clothing collection in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area in California. Our green col- ored drop-off boxes have become the hallmark of textile recycling in our neigh- borhoods; in many cities they are the most readily available environmentally responsible option for people to dispose of their unwanted clothing and shoes. Our clothing collection boxes help save resources and lessen environmen- tal impacts by reducing waste. The benefit of our boxes goes beyond the environmental one, the proceeds generated by the sale of used clothing benefit three organizations that engage in sustainable development work in the US, Africa, Central and South America.These organizations run programs aimed at mobilizing and supporting communities to take up the fight against poverty.

Programs: Cooperation: Working together locally, nationally and internationally with schools and school movements, development and environmental organizations and with humanizing enterprises of all sorts, that are in any way connected to and furthering this overall goal and any of its specifications. Protection of the Environment: Support, develop and implement programs and activities dedicated to the care of our planet and environment in general; focusing specifically on projects aimed at protecting natural resources, reuse and recycling. Promoting practical solutions for sustainable living through providing information to the general public, supporting other programs aimed at similar goals and starting up and carrying out various projects aimed at preserving the environment and natural resources. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with the poorest of the world: Supporting development projects, specifically in the poorest parts of the world, such as Aids and HIV prevention, training of teachers and other educational programs, general health, child aid, community, garden farming, programs aimed at promoting food, energy and economical sustainability and any other projects that promote development. To support emergency and disaster relief programs for victims of hunger, war, natural disasters, epidemics and other catastrophes. International Development: Supporting and initiating programs to train international volunteers to work in development projects such as described above, either in the US or abroad in the poorest areas of the globe. These programs train a wide range of skills that enable individuals to work for the alleviation of poverty and to work for better education, environment, health and improved human rights and social conditions.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 1

Very poorly ran non-profit. Cannot get them to remove their unattended boxes from our apartment complexes. We have to pay someone to haul them away because they won't come and remove them upon multiple requests.


Former staff

Rating: 1




Rating: 5

I just wanted to write a short note here about my experience with IICD MA. I went through the program some years back and went to Lamego, Mozambique. I can say the program was very challenging all through out, it thought me to look at a situation and change, make it better, mobilize people and simply make things happen. During my training, i was constantly challenged and I am very happy for it now as I can see that is the only way i could ever be ready for africa. During my period in africa I found ADPP mozambique to really have a huge impact in the country and even though the projects have been there for a long time and are always developing, even with the growth they still are there together with the people every day, very much grassroots, that is really something i was looking for and could see it has a very big impact. I had an opportunity to do some volunteer work before with a different organization, but i felt i was not making a difference. With IICD i was able to come to a completely different culture and start making a difference immediately. ADPP lamego has a huge impact on thousands of people's lives every day, I volunteered at the teacher training college and that has been a life changing experience for me. The projects are well run and focus on the people (and are there for all to see).


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Julie is right! Jan Sako, from Slovakia, is NOT the clothes manager for CCTG. Note: Campus California dropped the "TG"-- initials for Teachers Group-- part of its name but kept "campus". This is amusingly ironic in that Campus California is very much a Tvind/TG-controlled organization but it has no campus! The property was sold by the Tvind/TG company, AS Properties, to which Campus California TG paid its rent for many years. Jan Sako IS the PR/Expansion manager for CCTG, as a number of sources, including his own LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, point out. What is omitted in his self-profile is his stint as a student at a Tvind/TG school in Denmark, followed by his volunteer work with Humana People to People--the Tvind/TG's charity brand name-- projects in Mozambique, followed by his Tvind/TG membership--perhaps even a life-time? (Anthony N. who submitted his glowing two cents here is also a TG member.) The high marks for "generosity" of CCTG given by reviewers writing on behalf of IICD should be taken with a big grain of salt. CCTG and IICD are "affiliated" organizations. In fact, all the Tvind/TG groups are affiliated to each other by virtue of TG leadership, shared personnel, flow of funds and primary trade within a defined TG circle, interlocking boards, and so forth. Julie's comment about Garson and Shaw and Goodwill is just plain silly. Is the chairman of Goodwill "significantly" associated with the chairman of Garson and Shaw and chairman of CCTG and chairman of Planet Aid (who also serves as CCTG's chair!) through joint membership in the Tvind/TG, a hierarchically built cult (which the Tvind/TG is deemed in several countries and by cult scholars)? No, he isn't. And he probably doesn't count Amdi Petersen, who is wanted to stand trial AGAIN for fraud and serious economic crimes, as a TG comrade, as the others surely do. Garson and Shaw's bread is made primarily off of its business with other Tvind/TG companies, including the nominal non-profits. Below is what one person has to say from experience with Jan Sako, Humana People to People and the clothes operations of the Tvind/TG. In the USA, these clothes ops are Planet Aid, U'SAgain, Gaia, CCTG, IICD MI and IICD MA; broker is Garson and Shaw. You can find this post at: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-06-08/news/mogens-andi-peterson-campus-california-donated-clothes-cult-matt-smith/ Take time to read the entire article by journalist, Matt Smith. It is excellent! Read this account, too: The Help Africa Fraud by Matrice Jackson. It can be found here: http://www.tvindalert.com/stories/page/2/ And consider my own words: having lived in Mozambique and observed a number of Humana's poorly-run, amateurish and under-resourced programs (about which I filed formal complaints), your clothes donations to CCTG and any of the other Tvind/TG groups do NOT add up to "helping the poor" to any of the extent they claim. Humana's self-promotion is its most astonishing achievement. Its actual performance is notable for inflated, unsubstantiated claims, distorted statistics, omissions, and outright untruths. SF Weekly post: DirtyMoney
"I know Jan Sako well. I know that his time in Mozambique consisted of playing video games in the computer lab. I have also at one time worked for the clothing collection company which is in Albany NY. Huge amounts of money would appear and disappear from the bank account on a regular basis....and as a manager I know none of it was business expenses. We also used 'Garson and Shaw' for negotiating sales. I often brought up that it was rediculous that we were sending them thousands of dollars a month when they really did NOTHING for the company. The clothing company in Albany was pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in profit from clothes sales, yet, from visiting the school in Williamstown, MA I know that very little if any of it ever made it to the school.

I also know that the volunteer schools employ foreigners without work permits by collecting cash receipts from grocery stores or anywhere else they can find them and adding them to their expense reports. This is a common practice within the schools of acquiring pocket money that is non-taxable and hard to trace. They also make many promises of paymen,t only to on pay day, claim they never made such a promise.

As a part of TG you are required to give a huge part of your income (usually 50%) back to the TG. This is another way that they clear money. I personally always refused to join the TG, and they hated that. I was amazed though at how many people never stopped to realize that they were paying taxes on money that was never reaching their pocket but being moved into the TG coffers. They also pull these tricks on African TG members. They are told that if they ever need anything...a loan, pay a doctor bill ect that the money will come from this TG fund. Yet, time and time again, I have seen people in need of money for such things denied.

Anytime student or workers bring up the TG net, Amdi or money fraud the elder TG members become furious about how they are tired of answering these questions and if people want to think it is a fraud then they should just go.

They recently in Mozambique tried to pull one of their old tricks as well calling for all african TG members to cut ties with their families. They were told that the TG was their family and could provide for anything they needed. Unfortunately for them though very few if any active african TG members accepted this.

Do not be fooled by this business. Because really that is what it is, a business. There are many volunteers who give many hours trying to make a change at projects around the world. I can not lie, there are some projects that have provided huge amounts of assistance to local populations. I am sure though if the goal of Tvind as a whole was to actually help people though and not make money off every aspect the amount of help provided would be 10 fold AT LEAST.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For some reason I can't respond directly to your review tsomekwas, so I will respond in a review as I believe you deserve answers. First inaccuracy is in Jan Sako's title. He is not the Manager. I know this is a picky point, but it goes to the quality of research. And as I stated in Ken's comment he is a better journalist than that. Second, you loop everything into Garson & Shaw. Does this mean Goodwill is harboring the same fugitive as they sell a portion of their goods to Garson & Shaw as well? Yes, there are several non and for-profit organizations that support the same causes. In every industry. So the link to Gaia and others is technically factual, but no more nefarious than Garson & Shaw's link to Ford Motor Company who buys insulation from a company in Germany that buys rags from Garson & Shaw. If what you are suggesting is true, this is one heck of a global scheme. Since I can link several multinational organizations to this company, I think you may wish to revise these stories with KPIX/CBS and out everyone! Again, as I stated in the comment to Ken, we at Campus California don't expect everyone to agree with our mission, or support our cause. We are going to have people such as yourself and other volunteers and students that will be unhappy. But I don't believe we are unique in this either. I appreciate your passion and hope that my response is sufficient. I will conclude by saying since Campus California received its 501(c)3 determination letter the non-profit has remained in good standing with the IRS, the parameters of a non-profit organization under the 501(c)3 laws and have been financially audited as required by law. All of Campus California's financial data is available for public review and the most recent 2011 financials are on the website at http://www.campus-california.org.

3 tsomekwas

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Julie, Ken Katz is most certainly not “trolling” — for heaven’s sake, what a cheap shot! Rather, his assessment of Campus California is accurate, in my opinion. If it wasn’t, then why would KPIX/CBS San Francisco in 2006 air such a scathing report on Campus California and the related clothes collector called Gaia? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjmLvYhrstA )

By the way, yes, Gaia and Campus California are related, as evidenced by the KPIX report and also this picture of an older Gaia/Campus California bin (look closely): http://www.katzpjs.com/gaia1.jpg

Why did the former volunteers interviewed for that report have such unkind things to say about Campus California? Were they “trolls,” too? By the way, why do you think Campus California’s manager Jan Sako freaked out when reporter Anna Werner merely asked him if he sells clothes to Garson & Shaw? Might that be because Garson & Shaw is headed by known Teachers Group members?

And what about the 2011 San Francisco Weekly article, mentioned by Ken in his comment? That well-researched article wasn’t exactly favorable about Campus California, either: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-06-08/news/mogens-andi-peterson-campus-california-donated-clothes-cult-matt-smith/

And then there is the account from former Campus California student Matrice Jackson: http://www.tvindalert.com/stories/matrice-2/

Are these reporters and former students somehow “fabricating” lies against Campus California? I seriously doubt it, Julie, because of what I’ve learned about this group over years of research.

Let’s look at some of Mr. Katz’ so-called fabrications:

1) Campus California … is part and parcel of a vast network of non-profit and for-profit entities affiliated with the Teachers Group …”

Well, didn’t the letters “TG,” recently dropped from the end of Campus California’s name, stand for “Teachers Group”? The letters did appear on Campus California’s older bins: http://www.katzpjs.com/CCTGFaithPresbyterian.jpg

Furthermore, the SF Weekly reported that “Campus California has paid rent, brokerage, and financing fees to reputed Tvind-linked groups. It has shared key management personnel with such groups.”

The same report also states that “…Danish financial filings showed an annual transfer of around $50,000 to Campus California from Faelleseje, which is … sort of banker for Tvind-linked entities.”

The KPIX and SF weekly reports, along with photographs of the older bins, show Campus California’s affiliation with Gaia, which in turn was the subject of a 2004 investigation by the Chicago Tribune that showed Gaia’s ties to the Teachers Group: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-02-12/features/0402120028_1_gaia-bins-clothes

2) Mr. Katz also stated that “[Teachers Group leader Mogens Amdi] Petersen is currently a fugitive from the law hiding out in a $10 million compound in Baja California.”

Well, yes, it’s actually uncertain where in the world Mr. Petersen may be hiding, but it is a fact that he is a current Interpol fugitive wanted in Denmark for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar tax fraud and embezzlement scheme. After a five-year global search for Petersen and several assistants, the Western High Court in Denmark has recently ruled that public prosecutors can now appeal against Petersen and the others without serving the summons by hand, which is normal jurisprudence:

The ruling means that prosecutors can simply post Petersen’s summons on the Danish government’s official website, “Statstidende.” Here’s the link to the summons (it’s in Danish, but perhaps someone at Campus California can read Danish): http://www.statstidende.dk/default.aspx?pg=48.1.-1.-1&serial=S13072011-110&date=26.08.2011

In conclusion, I’d like to say that instead of trying to belittle the critics, Julie, why don’t you try addressing some of legitimate concerns and accusations in such reports?

Thank you for allowing me to air my opinion.

5 Ken_6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Campus California (like the International Institute for Cooperation and Development) is part and parcel of a vast network of non-profit and for-profit entities affiliated with the Teachers Group founded by Morgens Amdi Petersen. Petersen is currently a fugitive from the law hiding out in a $10 million compound in Baja California. Campus California's "dirty laundry" is aired out in this comprehensive article in SF Weekly Magazine: http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-06-08/news/mogens-andi-peterson-campus-california-donated-clothes-cult-matt-smith/

Comments ( 1 )


Recycle for Change 07/09/2012

My very wise grandfather once told my 2nd cousin Richard Widmark that paper never refused ink. This statement comes to mind reading your comment. While we at Campus California do not expect everyone to be 100% happy with our mission, we do expect people to do their own research. This article is filled with suggestion and is yellow journalistic in style at best. Not to mention, its facts are fabricated. I have read some of your work, Ken, and it is quite good. This kind of trolling is not befitting someone with such a silver pen.

Jytte M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our nonprofit - Institute for International Cooperation and Development in Massachusetts - has over the past years received generous donations from Campus California to support our endaveours in training young people from around the world to take active part in development and community work alongside some of the poorest people in the world. Many wish to do something about the widening gap between rich and poor but do not have the money and means for it. With the donations from Campus California we have been able to provide scholarships for some of these people to join our Development Instructor program and go to Africa or Brazil to do very needed development work - improving the conditions for vulnerable children and orphans, training primary school teachers for rural areas, working to stop the HIV/AIDS epidemic and improving local food production.
We are extremely greatful for this support and can honestly say that it "hit the ground" many times over with regards to the results and number of people who get a chance to improve their lives.
THANK YOU Campus California.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have a donation box from Campus California at my business in San Francisco. The people that came at first requesting permission where very friendly and up front. I have had the box for some time now and its not to say that we never have had any issues like graffiti or someone leaving a bag outside, but all the few occasions where that did happen they were very quick in resolving the issue and i was quite happy to see that. I see that there are several other companies out there with boxes now, but i can see some of them might not be as up front like Campus California. I am happy with the box, think that also attracts people to my business at times and intend to continue supporting them.

2 Anthony17


Rating: 5

I was a Development Instructor in 2006, and with the support of Campus California I was able to spend a year at a teacher training college in Mozambique. It was an amazing opportunity that changed the way I understand the world and my place in it and I will be eternally grateful.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Campus California enables through its collection and sale of second hand clothing the raising of serious funds for a variety of very, very good causes. People with beautiful minds and solidary humanism as one of their principles - have with the help of these funds the possibility to join Development instructor Programs in the USA. After the initial training these persons becomes international volunteers in Brazil, Belize and Ecuador where they work shoulder to shoulder with people in poor communities, in order to give them the tools and building capacities through both theory and practice. The donations of 2nd. clothing to Campus California enables a real exchange from People to People and that is how genuine development can take place.



Rating: 5

I have donated clothing to Campus California and they were very up front with all questions i had. Their box near my house is kept clean and they are always quick in resolving any issues. I appreciate the work they do and think is very necessary both for the environment and for humanity.