We’re Hiring Part Time Clerks

Posted on 02. May, 2016 by in History of ACR

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Austin Creative Reuse is looking for 2 part time clerks.  Ready to join an amazing organization and work in a wonderland of a center.

Read more about the role below and submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to info@austincreativereuse.org.

Position Details

Clerk-Part time ( 15-20 hrs per week)
Work week: AM and PM Shifts, weekdays and weekends
Possible schedule options: Shift 1 Wed-Sat: 9:30am-2:30pm ; Shift 2 Wed- Friday: 2:00pm to 8:30pm
Wage range: $11.00-$13.00 depending on experience
Reports to: Board President and Vice President

Who We Are
Austin Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education, and community building.

  • We collect, distribute, and sell reusable materials donated from industry and individuals.
  • We educate the community about how to reduce, reuse, and create in responsible and fun ways. We make instructional kits, have a library of design and art ideas, and share these online and in-store.
  • We unite the community by hosting a range of events, activities, and classes that bring people together to build awareness around conscious consumption, sustainability, and art
  • We promote awareness of like-minded organizations to reduce overlap and increase awareness of city resources.

What We Offer

  • Fun, creative and collaborative environment that will give you great experience working in the non-profit industry and with a diverse volunteer population.
  • Ability to expand role based on interest and skill set.  This could include assisting with our social media efforts or at our workshops. There is also potential for advancement to an opening and closing center lead role.

What You’ll Bring

We are looking for amazing people with diverse backgrounds and a genuine passion for creativity and reuse. Our ideal candidates will be comfortable talking about crafting materials and dealing with pricing questions.  We expect our clerks to:

  • Be outstanding at customer service.
  • Have excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, especially dealing with register.
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be able to juggle multiple tasks and work in an active non profit environment

Qualifications

  • Previous customer service and cashier experience
  • Basic knowledge of Point of Sales Systems and cash drawer reconciliation
  • Basic computer skills including knowledge of email, Microsoft Office, and google drive
  • Minimum: High School Diploma or Equivalent.

What You’ll Do

The Austin Creative Reuse Clerk is friendly, personable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Austin Creative Reuse and our mission. This is a vital role as you will be the first and last contact for customers visiting the center. You will be greeting customers as they enter the center and helping customers check out quickly. An Austin Creative Reuse clerk will become familiar with center pricing and will use sound judgement to complete transactions. You will use Square to process credit sales and be able to handle money for cash sales.  You will engage the customer about their experience in the center and let them know about making financial donations, future programs and events.

  • Greet new customers and introduce them to the center.
  • Main point person for the register and front of the center.
  • Manage all aspects of customer transactions including making sure that transaction data is accurately entered into the cash register.
  • Screen items brought in as drop-off donations; provide donation receipts; ensure that donations are recorded accurately in the donation log.
  • Physical Requirements: Push/pull merchandise with appropriate equipment to and from backroom and sales floor. Lift, place, and arrange items on shelves and racks. Bend down and reach above head. Climb and descend ladder. Stand during an entire shift (other than normal break time).

The above is intended to describe the general content of the requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements.

To Apply

Please submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to info@austincreativereuse.org

We review applications on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply as soon as possible.  We will not consider applications without a cover letter tailored to this position.

At Austin Creative Reuse, we believe that diversity makes us stronger and challenges us to think differently every day. Austin Creative Reuse  provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status or disability.

What Can I Do with Paper?

Posted on 19. Apr, 2016 by in Promotion, What Can I Do With...

As a student, I use paper almost everyday from writing lecture notes on loose leaf paper or in a journal to taking exams in a blue book or on a scantron. Even to just writing simple reminders on sticky-notes or reading a book for fun, I have never realized how much we rely on paper on a day-to-day basis. All of this paper will eventually end up in a recycling bin or in the trash. As of 2012, paper and paperboard contributed 30% of municipal solid waste, making them the largest components (EPA). However, on a better note, it has been estimated that the amount of paper ending up in landfills have been reduced in half (Paper Recycles).

Reducing paper consumption by going digital is a great way to cut back on paper and save trees, but sometimes paper is needed for certain projects. So, instead of going to an office supply store or craft store for paper, head over to Austin Creative Reuse for all your paper needs! There is an abundance of colorful printer paper and decorative scrapbook paper over at the ACR store that you can use for any type of project.

In preparation for Austin Creative Reuse’s paper sale going on from Thursday, April 21, 2016 to Saturday, April 30th  here are creative ways to reuse paper products.

  • Calendars aren’t just meant for keeping track of the date. Once the year is over, just tear apart a calendar and frame your favorite picture to decorate walls with. Calendar sized pictures fit well in record frames.
  • Newspaper can be used multiple times after reading them. They make excellent wrapping paper, but they can also help make windows streak-free. They are also a good source of carbon for compost piles when shredded.
  • When I was a kid, my sister and I created paper dolls and made outfits for them with construction paper. Print out some paper doll templates and dress them up with paper with various prints and designs in shapes of shirts and pants.
  • Personalize greeting cards, stickers, and notepads by picking and choosing different types of paper.

 

Austin Creative Reuse visits Articulture

Posted on 19. Apr, 2016 by in Around Austin, Events

Articulture Design chose Austin Creative Reuse as the recipient of 5% of sales from it’s Grand Opening on Saturday, April 9th.  I joined the festivities that day and enjoyed spending time in the beautiful space and hearing more about their efforts in permaculture design and green business.  You can learn more about Articulture’s green initiatives on their website.

 

April Paper Sale

Posted on 19. Apr, 2016 by in Promotion

Our Bucket Overfloweth!

In fact, we have so much of it, we are having a Paper Sale!

From Thursday, April 21st to Saturday, April 30th, a bucket of paper will run you a cool $2.50 (that’s ½ off our normal bucket price).  We’ve moved lots amazing paper items into our bucket area just for the sale.  And when all that paper is gone, it’s gone!

And if that’s not enough to bring you in, the paper in paper/party aisle is 50% off. This includes printing paper, construction paper, notecards, and much more. *

Here’s the kinds of paper you will find in our bucket section.

  • Magazines,
  • Maps
  • Calendars,
  • Craft books,
  • Greeting cards,
  • Card stock,
  • Comp books,
  • Collage images,
  • Paper sample books,
  • Graph paper,
  • Photo paper,
  • Envelopes
  • Invitations
  • Notecards,
  • Note pads,
  • Journals,
  • Sewing patterns
  • Binders
  • File Folders
  • Cardboard
  • Mat board
  • Cardboard tube
  • Beautiful paper scraps
  • Wall paper rolls
  • Photo books
  • Expanding folders
  • Plastic sheet protectors
  • Sample boards
  • Photos
  • Adding machine paper rolls
  • Stickers
  • Paper bag
  • Stencils
  • Wine carriers
  • Bubble envelopes
  • Tissue paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Gift bags

 

* Paper Sale does not include items in office, craft or vintage aisles.

Austin Creative Reuse recognized as Austin Green Business Leader

Posted on 19. Apr, 2016 by in History of ACR

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Austin Creative Reuse was recently recognized by the City’s Office of Sustainability as an Austin Green Business Leader  at the Platinum level. The city program rates local business and nonprofit entities on a wide range of factors that contribute to their overall environmental impact score. Given the core conservation mission of Austin Creative Reuse, we were delighted -but not surprised- to be recognized at the highest level.

As a new board member and new chair of the sustainability committee, completing this application and preparing for the site visit gave me opportunities to learn more about the details of the center’s operation, as well as ideas for new ways to increase our positive impact. Some of the factors measured are related to  general policy and values,  while others get into the nitty gritty of our operations. For instance, do you know which types of fluorescent bulbs are considered efficient by current standards? I didn’t! But I’ve learned that the T8 type we use *is* more efficient than the older T12 type, and that in any future renovations, we can increase our efficiency even further by moving to T5 or LEDs.

The AGBL scorecard functions both as a measurement tool to assess our current impact, and as a roadmap for continued improvements toward sustainability.  Austin Creative Reuse earned many points on this scorecard through activities and strategies that have been core to the organization’s values from the beginning. Even in these many areas where we were “ahead of the game”, the scoreboard still had something to offer in terms of amplifying our effects. For example, we’ll now start sharing our sustainability policy and strategies with our neighbors, and advocate for more sustainable building management practices in our whole complex.

Board of Directors 2016 Planning Session Update

Posted on 06. Apr, 2016 by in Board of Directors Meetings

Twice a year the Austin Creative Reuse board spends a few days reviewing the activities and outcomes of the organization and creates plans for the next 6 months.  These plans allow the board to focus the actions of the board and other volunteers as well as to ensure that we make progress but don’t over commit our resources. Austin Creative Reuse is currently all volunteer run and while there are many exciting opportunities, we want to make sure we take on only what we have the capacity to do.

The organization is guided by three strategic goals:

  1. Operate with transparency,  evidence-based practices, and collaborative processes to be an efficient and effective non-profit organization that balances the needs of all stakeholders. Stakeholders: Customers, Volunteers, Employees, Material Donors, Financial Donors, Community, Environment
  1. Be a self-sustaining and scalable non-profit organization
  1.  Be a resource for the Austin and Reuse communities that provides programs that utilize or support the creative use of repurposed and discarded materials.

Our Year End report is being created and will be released in the coming months.

Below are updates on key areas of the organization:

Finances and Accounting

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Financial health is good right now, sales have been steadily increasing and we’re conservatively budgeting to maintain our current sales level through next fiscal year (April 2016 – March 2017).

Considering the strong financial picture and the need for more help in the store, we’ve added ACR’s first employee to next year’s budget.  It’s a big step, both financially and emotionally.  ACR is growing up!  The board is excited about the coming year and the additional services we hope to implement.

Gift cards are coming soon! We’ll have ACR gift cards available shortly – they’ll easily work with Square (both loading balances and using for purchases) and are reloadable, so encourage customers to reuse those cards!  We’ll take $0 balance gift cards back and reload them for someone else.

Fundraising

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Now that we have achieved our goal of opening the center, we will focus our fundraising efforts on supporting operational and programming needs. Top fundraising priorities for 2016 are: securing a Community Initiative Grant,  holding either an annual fundraiser or a series of smaller-scale events, and the holiday campaign.

There was discussion and initial planning around having periodic in-store fundraising efforts targeting various programming/operational  needs.  We also discussed making community impact statements more often to keep  public/volunteers  informed. Updates were made to board fundraising responsibilities and commitments to be more action-oriented.

Educator Committee

educators

We reviewed the results of the Open House for Educators and other updates from the educator committee.  The most popular need that Educators requested from Austin Creative Reuse was to hold “Brainstorm Nights,” where educators from all over the city who teach similar grade-levels and subjects could meet in the Center to share ideas for reuse lessons.  The committee is discussing how this can be implemented in a sustainable way. The committee will also be looking for grant opportunities to assist with programming, planning a similar Open House event for August, and working to build an online community of educators.

Sustainability Committee

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We created a sustainability committee with Cory Skuldt as committee chair. We completed and passed a Sustainability Vision and Policy to assist in our efforts to walk our talk and. It can be viewed on our site below our core values statement here.  The core mission and work of Austin Creative Reuse is proactively increasing sustainability – this policy helps to guide our efforts embedding sustainable practices into every aspect of our operations.  Austin Creative Reuse applied for  Austin Green Business Certification, and was certified at the highest level (Platinum).  Cory is representing Austin Creative Reuse on the AISD Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, advocating for reuse as a pillar of AISD’s sustainability plan.  In addition, the committee will focus on relationships with other environmental organizations like the Austin Materials Marketplace, The Reuse Alliance Texas and the Austin Zero Waste Alliance.

Center Operations Committee

Our Creative Reuse Center has been open for business for 6 months now and every week, small changes and additions are made to our operating procedures to improve our workflow.  At this time, the process of Weigh/Sort/Price takes up the vast majority of our volunteer effort.  We’ve found that microsorting of small items is a big part of our process but one that brings lots of value back into the items that are donated.  Turning that mixed bag of buttons, beads and writing instruments into cohesive bags of art/craft supplies is a lot of work!

We’ve arranged our center into thoughtful sections to make it easier to shop but we are seeing a real need to define “champions” or “owners” for all sections.  These volunteers would be responsible for making each section look sharp and easy to shop.  When we sell out of one item, containers need to be pulled and new inventory in its place.  Prices need to be re evaluated on a regular basis.   Items that are unique or high quality need to featured.  Moving inventory around also makes it fun for our weekly shoppers.  It helps them to see materials that might have gotten overlooked.

Next big challenge is to offer workshops and classes.  We have the space, materials, tools and even some artists/crafters interested in heading up these workshops.  Things we still need to define are cost, advertising, timing but most importantly, volunteer resources.  We are looking to turn our current Tuesday Volunteer Activities Night into a regular Create Night.

In addition, we’ve found two volunteers with significant summer camp experience.  We hope to work with them to define at least 1 summer camp for kids.

Board Nominating Committee

The board has several member updates.  Rebecca continues to be our President and Carole is Vice-President.  Cindy renewed her board commitment for three years and does a great job leading our fundraising efforts.  Leslie heads up the educator committee while juggling a new baby and another one on the way!
Cory is our newest member and recently built a sustainability policy for the center.  She will be our chair for the board sustainability committee.  Katy is our board treasurer and she just completed her three year term.  We are grateful for her service and happy that she will stay with us another year and assist in finding a great new treasurer.  Michele is interim board secretary but will be leaving the Austin area this summer and relocating to Florida for new job opportunities.

We are excited to grow our board and we are communicating with several interested people.  In addition, we are planning to put out a call for board applications later this spring.  Michele will be the contact person for anyone with questions about joining the board.

Communications

Sharing information and growing community is vital to the success of the organization. We are continuing our efforts on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Meetup) and Google pages and Yelp. We have a google grant and have adword campaigns running to continue to promote the organization.  We are in search of a volunteer to take on sending out our email newsletters and a volunteer to assist with web updates.

We are planning an upgrade to our website and while we figure out the new theme and navigation for the site, we will continue to make small improvements to enhance our visitors experience.

Events

While developing Austin Creative Reuse over the past few years, we participated at many events to build awareness of the organization.  For the next six months, we are limiting our participation at events in order to concentrate our time and effort on the operations of the volunteer center.  We are still in need of volunteers that can assist consistently at the center.

 

 

What Can I Do with Books?

Posted on 29. Mar, 2016 by in What Can I Do With...

Once upon a time, we read and listened to stories out of books. Now that we’re in the digital age, bookworms are downsizing and opting for digital copies of beloved tales. If there is no more room left on your bookshelves to display your book collection or if you’re thinking of parting ways with some books, here are some local places you can donate to so that stories can be re-told and passed down to others.  

  • Inside Books Project is a nonprofit that sends books to prisoners in Texas to promote reading, literacy, and education. They have three drop off book donation locations at Space 12 (3121 East 12th Street), Monkeywrench Books (110 N Loop Blvd E), and Bouldin Creek Cafe (1900 S 1st Street). They are in need of dictionaries, graphic novels, trade books and how to manuals, and many more!
  • Bookspring  is a literacy program that provides reading experiences to children and their families to close the literacy gap in Central Texas. You can donate gently used children’s books and popular teen and adult books at their office located on 2006 Greenbrook Parkway.
  • Recycled Reads is a bookstore that is a part of the Austin Public Library system and is one of Austin’s main book recyclers.  They help the City of Austin work towards their goal to zero waste (5335 Burnet Road).

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However, if you’re like me and get too attached to books to let them go, there are creative ways to reuse or repurpose them. For instance, books make excellent planters for small succulents and book covers to disguise any e-reader. You can also start your own library! Little Free Library is a great way to bring communities together by sharing and exchanging books with your friends and neighbors. All you need is a box and some books and to register your upcoming library. Check out their website for more information on how to start a one in your community!

 

New Board Member and Spring Interns

Posted on 08. Mar, 2016 by in Board of Directors Meetings, History of ACR

Please join us in welcoming our new Board Member Cory Skuldt and our two Spring Interns Toni Red and Kaci Lambeth.

cory skuldt picNew Board Member – Cory Skuldt

Cory’s background is in nonprofit management, arts, and education. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in the Studio for Interrelated Media, where she worked with reused textiles and film. She went on to found Boston Skillshare and Skillshare Austin, creating community education events for all ages, and later received her Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the Center for Community Based Non-Profits.

For the past 9 years Cory has been working to develop a local thrift store from a small, primarily volunteer run-effort to a growing cooperative social enterprise, generating funds for grassroots nonprofits while diverting waste. She’s been inspired by connecting with the broader reuse community during that time. She recently left her position there in order to pursue an MBA in Sustainability at Bard College, with the ultimate goal of advocating for reuse as a crucial sustainability strategy in business, nonprofit, and government sectors.

Originally from Somerville, Massachusetts, Cory has lived in East Austin for 10 years with her two sons. Creative projects and adventures in natural places are her family priorities, and she blogs about connecting kids with nature and play.

Spring 2016 Interns

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Toni Red : As a self proclaimed environmental activist, Toni loves to encourage others think green. She gets to do just that as an intern for Austin Creative Reuse. Since 2013, Toni has been spreading the word about ACR and reuse by writing blog posts about reducing waste and reuse projects. She is currently in her final year at UT and will graduate with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Biology. She wants to continue working for the environment by protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat.  (Spring 2014- Spring 2016)

KaciKaci Lambeth is a third year advertising major, with a focus in Media, at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a passion for reuse and sustainability, and is excited to use her skills to further Austin Creative Reuse’s goals of spreading education, community, and creativity throughout Austin.

 One day she hopes to work in the business of promoting businesses for sustainability and social good. Right now, she is a freelance graphic designer, full time student, and academic research assistant.

 

Amplify Austin 2016

Posted on 24. Feb, 2016 by in Events

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Austin Creative Reuse is thrilled to participate for the 4th year in I Live Here, I Give Here’s Amplify Austin Day on March 8th, a 24-hour day of giving to Central Texas nonprofits.

Thanks to your generous support during last year’s #AmplifyATX Day we were able to open Austin’s first creative reuse center.

Help us to continue to serve our community and reach our goal of $2500 by giving on March 8th and 9th during #AmplifyATX @I Live Here, I Give Here.

We are especially excited to participate this year with #AmplifyAssembly.

Amplify Assembly @ Austin Public is a FREE kick-off event for Amplify Austin Day, on March 8th. Over 40 local nonprofit organizations are coming together in one location to spread the word about their individual causes, while promoting Austin’s 4th Annual City-wide giving day!

Produced by Leap to Success and Austin Film Society, and partnering with Austin Public Access, the event will include live, on-air coverage and entertainment, hosted by Amanda Tatom of KXAN’s midday show “Studio 512.”

Amplify Assembly at Austin Public
Tuesday, March 8  at 6 PM – 9 PM
1143 Northwestern Ave, Austin, Texas 78702

Donate now

Austin Creative Reuse Grand Opening Celebration

Posted on 24. Feb, 2016 by in Events, History of ACR

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Thank you for joining us for Austin Creative Reuse’s Grand Opening Celebration.  It was amazing to have the community come together to help us celebrate the opening of the center.  Thank you to Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member District 4, for his inspiring remarks about hope and making change in the community.  And Thank you to Greg Casar, Bob Gedert, ,Claudia Montero, and Kenya Johnson for joining us in a “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony”.  We made the ceremony our own by creating a chain of hearts that was then decorated by the community and will be hung up in the center.

All of this would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. There were volunteers that helped us get started years ago as we built awareness and inspired reuse at events, to the Board Members that guide the way and to the weekly rock stars at the center that give their time and energy to make the center look so organized and fun.

Austin Creative Reuse mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education and community building. The center not only prevents items form unnecessarily going to the landfill, it also provides affordable materials for the community to create and explore their artistic nature. The center is a place to be inspired, to learn and to gather to create. Through tinkering and creative exploration, reuse inspires the engineers, designers, architects, artists and creatives of today and tomorrow.