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ReCraft opens expanded creative reuse center, holds second Teacher Re-Supply Drive

For the second year running, ReCraft Creative Reuse Center is holding a Teacher Re-Supply Drive for first-year public school teachers in Greenville County, but this time from its new 7,500-square-foot store on Haywood Road.

A nonprofit organization that connects teachers, artists, children and crafters with reusable materials destined for the landfill, ReCraft shifted its focus during the coronavirus pandemic from hands-on programming to helping teachers obtain supplies needed in their classrooms.

Last year, ReCraft collected about $40,000 worth of donated, usable office supplies from more than 100 area businesses and families, and working in conjunction with Greenville County Schools and Public Education Partners (PEP), distributed them at no charge to first-year public school teachers.

“We weren’t just collecting new stuff,” said ReCraft Executive Director Grant Cothran. “We were really focusing on the stuff at the bottom of that junk drawer, in your office supply closet, the stuff that is going to be landfilled – sooner or later you’re going to throw it away.”

In 2022, ReCraft will invite more than 400 new Greenville County teachers to shop for free at the Teacher Re-Supply Drive to be held Feb. 21-25 at its new location at 525 Haywood Road in Greenville. Businesses and individuals wishing to donate to the drive are asked to drop off items at the store Feb. 16-18 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

“All teachers at this time of year are really running on empty,” Cothran said. “Their supply closets are bare. All that back-to-school stuff is gone. For first-year teachers that’s especially important because they don’t have any stuff left over from last year.”

But ReCraft is not just for first-year teachers. All teachers, hobbyists, artists and others are invited to shop at ReCraft’s resuse store where prices on materials and supplies donated by others are 25 percent to 50 percent less than retail. A bulk section, for example, allows shoppers to place as many items as they can in a $5 or $8 bag.

From paper, yarn and fabric to markers, duct tape and cigar boxes, ReCraft has anything a crafter needs to create.

“Lots of times people have creative materials when they’re finishing a project, whether it’s sewing or painting or collage and they don’t know what to do with those,” Cothran said. “We accept those materials, divert them from landfills, our volunteers sort them and then we put them back out to the community at highly accessible prices.”

And for those who need a place to design and devise, ReCraft has a makerspace – an all ages, hands-on, open-ended, self-guided place where tables, tools and more than 50 different kinds of materials are available for use.

“There’s nothing new about second-hand stores,” Cothran said. “What is new for Greenville and for South Carolina is that this is a place where you can buy second-hand art and craft materials. There’s really no place like this here, even though there are over a hundred creative reuse centers around the country.”

Want to visit?

ReCraft Creative Reuse Center, 525 Haywood Road, Greenville SC 29607, (864) 365-6456, info@recraftgvl.org, recraftgvl.org.

Hours: Wed. – Sat., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Want to donate?

Teacher Re-Supply Drive donations will be accepted Feb. 16-18 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., 525 Haywood Road, Greenville.

For updates, follow @recraftgvl on Facebook and Instagram.

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