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2017 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

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with this organization for almost a year. My students with special needs have been volunteering and learning many important work skills and experiences. They are truly support our local community and give back so much! Our students create crafts that are sold at the IU13 Winter and Spring Bazaar. Art of Recycle has given students their supplies for free and has helped to promote their mini business. Monies raised by the students go back to the students to provide them with opportunities many of them may never get to experience otherwise.Art of Recycle has also done workshops with our students. They continues to share their gifts and creativity each day. They do ALL of this and do not take a paycheck.God has blessed both Chelas and Nobody with an amazing gift. I personally am very grateful to have them as a part of the Ephrata community!

1 Melissa209

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you! Thank you, Chelas and Nobody, for your creativity and dedication to make the world a better place on sooo many levels! It was good to reconnect with you today. There is no other place on earth as this... I hope all of YOUR wishes come true because you are making others come true in ways all of us could have never dreamed possible.

Melissa Hand, Buyer
Ten Thousand Villages

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This place is amazing! They have everything you can imagine. I had recently visited the area an decided to check this place out. They have an arts and craft area for kids in store which is great. I came out with some much stuff! (Really inexpensive too!) Being an artist I will be back for more! Great place for both adults and children!

1 Rebekah R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is a magical place, where kids and adults alike can unwind and let their creative energies flow!
Inside is the "Craft Castle," a crafting area where kids can craft for free with materials provided for them. Most of the kids make finger puppets and then put on a puppet show together, with the help of Mr. Special at the puppet stage!
The thrifty craft store in the front half of the building is my favorite to meander in. The set-up is whimsical, and the crafting goodies are cheap and abundant! It is truly a crafter's paradise. Need project inspiration and help? Art of Recycle has reference books for you to flip through, and even comfortable chairs and hot tea for you to settle down with while you're flipping through the pages and developing ideas.
They also host workshops for the community to learn different art forms and crafts, and overall just have fun.
I am absolutely supportive of this place. It's a very cozy, playful atmosphere, run by good people.
It's the place where wishes come true! (No really, make a wish in the wishing tree and chances are the fairies will grant it!)

1 Joe_34

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't overemphasize how much Art of Recycle benefits our community. Through their community outreach programs and their onsite facilities (crafting table, workshops, discount craft supply store, etc.) they provide a positive, safe and creative environment for everyone in the Ephrata area, young and old. Also, they are a wealth of knowledge and extremely helpful when you stop in seeking advice on a home project. In addition, they are becoming a focal point for other area non-profits and those interested in the arts to meet, brainstorm and plan events and programs.

On a personal note, my thirteen year old son and his friends frequently visit Art of Recycle and he is always excited to tell about what is happening there. Although he claims he is not creative, he often comes home with something cool that he has made. Whenever I visit, there are always happy children busily making things at the crafting table.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chelas has created a lovely place full of imagination and life.... You can donate supplies, or pick up what you need and start creating your masterpiece!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Art of Recycle quickly became one, if not The, favorite place of mine in town. The staff is energetic and inspiring all on their own, but the facility speaks creativity with one glimpse. What a boon to the community to have not just a gathering place, creative outlet, recycling center and thrift store all in one! As a professional artist, this will certainly be on my list of go-to places for both inspiration and interesting materials. Further, my respect for this organization has only deepened from seeing their outreach in the community by being involved in fairs and art shows not only in our town proper but also in other areas of our county.

1 Julia V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

a fantastic place run by fantastic people. Every city should have 2 people as caring as Mr. Nobody and Chelas and also have a place as great as Art of Recycle.

2 Patricia78

Client Served

Rating: 5

From Chelas' body painting, to Nobody's puppet theater, these folks are so professional! Kids of all ages are grinning ear to ear when they visit Art of Recycle - there's a new fun thing in every corner.

Art, art, art! shrieks, survives and flourishes at Art of Recycle.

I have watched it evolve over the years and it just keeps getting better - - way to go, y'all!

1 Quetzalcoatl J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome place keep up the good work art is always important for society :0)

1 MrNobodySpecial

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is such a magical wonderland! We wanted to create a place that art could thrive, and does it ever! It makes my heart dance with joy to see the craft castle full of kids (and moms, dads, grandparents, etc.) all crafting away. I feel like I am at the beginning of a great adventure and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

I love being able to be a part (the narrator puppet) of the finger puppet theater. I get to see the creativity and silliness of kids creating stories and being able to help guide them in positive storylines where trouble is more often because of misunderstandings rather than evil intentions.

I am glad to see that the local community loves and needs and enjoys the center as much as I do. I get up every day excited to go volunteer, there isn't a happier place for me to be. I could go on and on but if you really want to experience and understand it you just have to get to Ephrata and come see it. It will change you too!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They are just so awesome! They do so much good for the world

1 Andrea72

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle's staff are fantastically creative and fun!

1 Adriana7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle brings a unique arts influence to Ephrata that has been missing since at least I was in school. Now an art student at a local university, I am thrilled to see the art supplies as well as odds & ends AOR carries that can be used for my projects or for fun.

Art of Recycle is engaged in the community as well. I run into them at almost every local event, as well as in Lancaster city as well! They are passionate about bringing an arts culture to the local community--young & old alike!

Plus, Josh & Chelas are a lovely duo & always make me smile!

1 Joey5

Client Served

Rating: 5

How much do I love The Art of Recycle?.....let me count the ways
Makes me feel welcome and at home
Gives me that child's feeling of finding a treasure
Is filled with fun stuff to look at, touch and use
All ideas are ok
There is no wrong way to do things
Freedom to create
No question is too silly
I know this place will change the lives of all who enter
It is a safe place
It is a nurturing place
I can get the things I need without spending much
All children are accepted and can express themselves creatively
Children will learn things they never knew about themselves
I have a place to take my stuff and know someone will benefit
My thoughts about our earth and recycling are changing
I now have a box to collect things I come across to take there next time
The building looks so beautiful enhancing the community with murals
colorful flowers in clever containers built with discarded materials
The encouragement that I can do it too
You are never too old....this place welcomes the child...even if you are 66

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just happen to use the public parking lot in while in Ephrata and was pleasantly surprised to find Art of Recycle. I was first attracted by the Craft Castle bunting outside and then further intrigued by the upcycled furniture at the back door. Upon entering, I was overwhelmed with a recycler's paradise of collected, usable materials. Though I was not currently on the hunt for wooden frames, furniture posts or hundreds of other small parts, I was able to find some fabric that I "needed" and was able to purchase for a very low price.

It is satisfying to observe that children have a place to go that embraces their natural curiosity to wonder and therefore discover through the use of their hands, imagination, and found materials. As an educator, I see a decline in self-made exploration in a world of technology and immediate stimulation. Knowing that children can discover a process to satisfaction by seeing a process of creativity keeps me in hopes of well rounded future adults.

Thank you, Art of Recycle for being part of a better world through upcycling.

1 Kate H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took my 3 girlies in to check it out and wound up staying for 4 hours! I think I was the one who complained about time to go the most! We LOVED being "allowed" to think outside the box and just enjoy being creative!!! The puppet theater was a huge hit with the kiddos, and I believe before the summers over we will have a whole army of finger puppets! (So far we've off to a good start!) I am in love with the tree on the puppet stage and dream of having one just like it in our basement! We of course could not leave with out picking up a few extra supplies before heading home! If ever my tree house dream becomes a reality, I know just the place to pick up supplies!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can think of no better place to go and imagine what is possible, and then realize the dream than the Art of Recycle. I recently had a prop to make for a performance and took the basic parts there to assemble and paint because I don't have room in my apartment. The owners were really helpful and generous, and while I was there I was inspired by some LED lights that I ended up buying and adding to the prop. I took an upholstery workshop and learned how to re-cover a footstool that belonged to my great-grandmother. I never would have considered trying to fix it on my own, so the offer of the workshop was just what I needed, and I learned so much. We've stopped in and played in the craft castle to make finger puppets and use the puppet theatre, or just to browse and get inspired. The owners are always friendly, helpful, and are always up to something incredible - making a dragon, creating a giant kaleidoscope, or painting a series of tiny doors that will be for fairy houses. This is a safe, happy, and inspiring space for the dreamer and creator in all of us.

1 Alyssabean

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon the magical place that is Art of Recycle! They've got a great, big selection of the most random trinkets and crafting materials that are extremely affordable for even the most starving artist. Just walking around the store was giving me ideas for future projects- and the fact that you can use the space to actually work is FANTASTIC. Art of Recycle made me feel hopeful for our small town creative community, and I can't wait to go back.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art of recycle is an amazing place for adults as well as children. You can find odds and ends craft supplies that you can't find anywhere else. The craft castle is an amazing place for everyone. My daughter, niece and nephews love going there. They are always asking if it's open so they can go. The craft castle has so many craft supplies that the opportunities are endless. The kids always come home with something different. It is a place where their imagination can run wild. The staff are always so helpful with creating ideas and helping get the project started. They offer classes for different projects and we are looking forward to attending some of them.

1 Jennifer230

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time painting during an evening of guided meditation-inspired painting. The cost was a donation and we brought our own small canvasses. Our fellow participants and all of the Art of Recycle folks were encouraging and friendly.