Lancaster Creative Reuse (LCR) 501(c)(3) was established in 2009 by co-founders Jeannie Zeller and Andrea Stoner Leaman who saw the potential in the untapped supply resources generated by both individuals and businesses that were often destined for landfills.
Soon after visiting Lancaster Creative Reuse, Nancy and her husband, Allen Tate, began volunteering with the organization. Since 2010, Nancy has volunteered in the store and processed material donations. Allen has been involved for over 10 years—the past 5 years as a Board member and for the past 3 years as Board President. They both have been a part of LCR’s growth.
In addition to being a wonderful way to reuse, recycle, and sell affordable crafting items that may otherwise be discarded, the organization also serves the greater community by providing low-cost or free materials to many community groups such as the Lancaster Refugee Project, Boys and Girls Club, Lancaster Humane Society, HDC Ruoff Senior House, schools, senior centers, and more!
The store also features an activity center where children can enjoy creating projects. The possibilities are limitless with paper towel tubes, bottle caps, corks, crayons, colored pencils, glitter, and more! A sewing machine station can be used for $5, so that anyone who does not have a machine of their own can come to the store and use it. A workshop room is located in the basement where the shop hosts crafting classes. Paid cashiers spend time helping customers on the floor as they look for specific items.
The mission of Lancaster Creative Reuse is “to connect community excess to those who can use it creatively. Through the low-cost store, Open Craft Table, and education programs, LCR inspires creativity, increases access to the arts through affordability, and encourages reuse.”
Executive Director Dierdre Remollino fondly remembers giving a craft bag to a young boy in Lancaster, whose face filled with joy because he said his family could otherwise not afford a craft project.
“Moments like this are why we are here,” she said.
Many times, when people are downsizing, one of the hardest things to part with is their craft supplies. Craft materials are more than just items; they represent ideas and dreams of projects that you’ve always hoped to make with that special piece of fabric or that ball of yarn. But sometimes there are just too many projects to do, and unused supplies remain in drawers and gather dust. This is where Lancaster Creative Reuse comes in!
Donations of craft supplies can be given with the joy of knowing that your beloved treasures will be passed forward to bless someone else. If you would like to donate items to the shop, small donations of two bags or less can be brought to the store and dropped off. If you have more than two bags, the store asks for you to schedule an appointment to drop off the items and have them examined so LCR can be sure that there is room for them and someone to assist you. Occasionally, pick-up service is also available for very large donations.
If you’re looking to become involved in a wonderful and creative atmosphere that also gives back to the community— consider volunteering at the Lancaster Creative Reuse Shop. Volunteers do things like sort items into portions to be packaged and priced accordingly. LCR is also looking for additional Board members.
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