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Businesses Donate Surplus Materials for CCRx "Swap Circle for Teachers"

CCRx is asking Chicago Businesses to donate their surplus for Chicago Teachers at the Swap Circle for Teachers on August 11-12, 2017 at the Chicago Teachers Union Center, 1901 W. Carroll Avenue in the East Garfield Park neighborhood.

Donation Drop-off: Mon-Wed, August 7-9, 2017 from 10am – 4pm

Swap Circle for Teachers: August 11-12, 2017 10am – 4pm

Where? Chicago Teachers Union Center, 1901 W. Carroll Avenue in East Garfield Park.

Every year, teachers scramble for supplies, furniture, books and other materials. And every day, Chicago businesses dispose of a host of things that teachers could really use. The Swap Circle will make the connection.

What kind of surplus? Office supplies, Art supplies, Event materials, fabric, shelving and storage containers, musical instruments, costumes, hardware, tools, samples, and design overruns… Check out the Most Wanted Items List.

Inquiries can be directed to or (312) 909-5902.

A CCRx Teacher-Materials Survey reveals that teachers need what businesses often discard as surplus -- paper, folders, binders, glue, dry-erase markers, scissors, fabric, pencil sharpeners, staplers and more. And items teachers “dream of getting" include books, boxes, shelving and storage containers to color printers, microscopes, sewing machines, tools, games and graphic novels….

“We’re excited to connect Chicago’s event companies, advertising agencies, manufacturers and designers with Chicago’s teachers and students,” said Barbara Koenen, CCRx Director. “And create an opportunity to access things they can really use.”

Donations are tax-deductible and a public affairs-friendly way to participate in a “green” zero-waste initiative.

A “prescription for creativity,” CCRx is inspired by local and national reuse programs, such as New York City’s award-winning Materials for the Arts, which redistributes millions of dollars worth of surplus donated by companies like Google, Estee Lauder, Sony, Prada, Coach, and Benjamin Moore. Closer to home, DuPage County’s SCARCE provides textbooks and a vast array of reusable materials for free to teachers – including teachers from neighboring Cook County. “Last year, over 1300 teachers from Chicago drove here to fill their cars with free textbooks and supplies,” said SCARCE founder, Kay McKeen. “We’d love to help offer them books and supplies closer to home.”

“We’re excited to tap Chicago’s businesses –event companies, advertising agencies, manufacturers and designers – to share their surplus and encourage creativity in Chicago’s teachers and students,” said Carolyn Ottmers, CCRx Donation Director. “And in the process to create a pipeline for teachers, non-profits, artists and community groups to access things they couldn’t afford or find, but can really use.”

Inquiries can be directed to or (312) 909-5902.

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