by Jon Wolfe, Repurpose Project Volunteer
The Repurpose Project is a non-profit community based effort to divert useful resources from the landfill, redirect these items to the public for art and education, inspire creativity, and help us all rethink what we throw away.
Beware. A visit to their site at 1920 NE 23rd Ave. in Gainesville can turn you into an earth-friendly Indiana Jones. From the second you pull on the door handles made out of used tools, you’ll know you’re in a special place where your exploration can easily turn into an adventure and time will slow down quickly.
With art supplies, electronics, furniture, house repair and antique items and even car parts, this non-profit‘s mission is to create a circular economy by blending a creative reuse center and architectural salvage along with “any other weird item not accepted by traditional thrift stores.”
Their website says, “It is a very strange store and people love it … and “buying used items is good for the earth.”
Volunteer Coordinator and Junk Curator Heather Eakin is likely to agree. Once herself a volunteer who fell in love with the Repurpose Project, she was hired and now welcomes others to be a part of the mission and the message, “Volunteers are a crucial part of the project, not only because they get to things we don’t have time to do ourselves, but because they become ambassadors to the community for the Repurpose Project and spread the mission and vision we’re trying to fulfill.”
Eakin says the Repurpose Project can host what they call, “Spontaneous Volunteers,” people with 15-30 minutes to come in and help sort or move items. Their website says it’s a great place to meet people. Find out for yourself. They host a volunteer orientation the 3rd Saturday of every month. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at (352) 363-8902.