WonderRoot Creative Reuse: What We Do

Fourth in a four-part series: Who we are, where we are, what we do, and why

Last night, I found myself holding 2 knitting needles and a bit of yarn for the first time in years. I had known how to knit, long ago, but I had completely forgotten how. Ta-da! Welcome to the WonderRoot Creative Reuse workshop, Intro to Knitting. A very patient teacher, Erin, showed each of us how to loop the yarn just the right way so that it became the start of something fabulous. We were casting on. Slowly, it came back to me, and now I know how to knit again.

Two bins of yarn

This was WonderRoot Creative Reuse’s first workshop, the first of many, we hope. We’re planning to offer one workshop a month during these early stages of our program’s development. Stay tuned for the next workshop topic. You can find it posted at WonderRoot.org — after we schedule it, that is.

So, that’s one thing we do: offer workshops based on using materials that have been donated by people who weren’t using them any more. Like yarn. And knitting needles. And chopsticks that look like knitting needles.

Knitting needles

What else do we do?

In a nutshell, we promote artistic expression, environmental awareness and community through the collection and redistribution of salvaged materials for creative reuse. That pretty much says it all.

But what does it mean?

Two girls making a terrarium Well, we know that sometimes people who are really into arts and crafts — or just art — don’t have a lot of money to spend on materials. If you do, that’s great. But if not, we are developing our creative reuse program as a resource for materials that you can use to make art without spending a lot of money. Artists, teachers, parents, youth group leaders, you are our target audience. We are here for you. We want you to make art and help children make art. We believe in the power of art. As a wise man said recently, “Art changes lives.”

And we also know that people often have materials they are just not going to use. Perhaps you bought all kinds of supplies for a friend or relative who declared they were going to start quilting, or making mosaics, and then, they didn’t. Perhaps that friend or relative would like to donate those materials to a creative reuse program for others to use? Or perhaps you have knitted 24 sweaters, and each time you end up with two skeins of yarn left over. We’ll take it. Perhaps your theater group has mounted posters on large foam core boards, and now the show is over. We know someone who can reuse that foam core.

The most important thing is: don’t throw this stuff away. The landfills are getting filled. We’ve got a better idea. Give it to us!

Materials for arts and crafts

We collect art-making stuff that people don’t want any more — or crafty materials that businesses would otherwise throw away — and we find people that do want them. We sell this stuff, very cheaply, so that people with limited resources — teachers! parents! artists! students! — can buy it. Or people who just know a good deal when they see it.

The logistics behind collecting these materials and selling them at festivals and pop-up shops could make your head spin. At this time, we need to start building a team of volunteers! Are you interested in helping us?

Earlier installments in this series:

Who we are, where we are, what we do, and why

Who we are

Where we are


About Susan

One of the founders of WonderRoot Creative Reuse.
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