One year ago today, CCRx was deep into planning our 4th Swap Circle for Teachers scheduled to take place January 25-26, 2019. This signature pop-up event was taking place on Chicago’s southwest side, in a warehouse space loaned to CCRx by our wonderful partner Envision Unlimited. Today - that warehouse space is CCRx’s NEW PERMANENT HOME!! So much growth in one year - we are bursting with pride and excitement. Here’s a bit of a recap:
January 2019 Swap Circle – attendance was fantastic - donations from over 100 donors, including book sets from Scholastic, were arranged and over 390 teachers in 2 days were able to load up carts of all sorts of supplies and materials. And creative reuse demos were offered by Envision Unlimited clients and The WasteShed.
Creative Reuse Workshops – a range of skill sharing held during the year at various locations throughout the city including Bookbinding, Beehive Making, Beekeeping, Hand Sewing and more!
CCRx also participated in the Chicago Park District Night Out in the Parks program providing materials and guidance on Imagination Journal making at 6 different park locations. And in December, CCRx hosted a 2 day Fantasy Park Workshop for Chicago Park District Staff with skill sharing and reuse idea generating for everyone to take into the new year.
School's Out Green Out! (SOGO!) – We piloted our new end of school year donation drive in which CCRx facilitates the collection of surplus materials as classrooms and lockers are cleaned out at the end of the year in Chicago and surrounding communities. This program promotes resource sharing, environmental stewardship and creative reuse. All clean, working surplus collected was redistributed at our new warehouse in time for the 2019-20 school year.
GiveAways: Part of the CCRx mission is to redistribute surplus and that is exactly what we did with 2 BIG giveaways in 2019. In October, we helped Ace Restaurant Supply liquidate their closing business inventory by offering restaurant supplies to over 30 non-profits. Then in November, 5000 Roy Lichtenstein Art Kits, donated by See the Vision, Grab the Vision (in conjunction with the Chicago Park District) were given away to over 250 teachers.
Open House: After much space planning, painting, shelf building, palette unloading, organizing (and re-organizing), in November 2019 we held our first Open House in our new space!! It felt wonderful to share with the public, teachers, artists, community and non-profit groups from all over the city. With the new space CCRx is able to be open 3 days a week to accept donations, work with volunteers and for the educational community to come “shop”.
CCRx Warehouse Open Hours
Wednesday: 1pm - 7pm
Friday: 12 pm - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 2pm
Volunteers – individual and group volunteers have been an important part of the CCRx engine - we THANK YOU whole heartedly for your contributions! Together we will continue to keep tons of useful materials from the landfill, reimagine the possibilities of surplus with creative reuse and redistribute materials into the hands of the people most skilled at using it to help impact Chicago's youth and improve Chicago's reuse/recycling infrastructure!
“Trash is just a failure of the imagination!”