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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.