If you've read the home page, hopefully you are considering a community re-use program. In setting up one such program we considered many scenarios and selected one. On this and the page titled "Logistics," we present our experience and factors we considered in the hope that it can help you get a head start.
There are two necessary components for any type of re-use program: (1) an accumulation of items, and (2) a distribution of those items. These components can occur at different times or contemporaneously. The can occur on specific dates or they can occur on an ongoing basis. The question is one of logistics, discussed on the "Logistics" page of this site.
Obviously, people have to be informed of these components in order for any re-use program to be successful. The more publicity the better! This aspect, too, is discussed on the "Logistics" page.
For our events, we used signage (both outdoor for car and foot traffic and indoor) so that parents, students, teachers and other employees would know of the upcoming event and its purpose. We also used the school website and word of mouth.
Any event also requires physical space(s). It requires a place to collect and/or store items and a place where people can come and collect items. If the event is run periodically this space requirement can be minimal. If the event is ongoing, then collection bins and/or a distribution site need to be set up on a more permanent basis.
Finally, there are other considerations that need to be taken into account in any model: Will distributions be "free?" Will there be an exchange of items required? These items, too, are explored in more detail on the "Logistics" page of this website.
One school's experience:
ReuseMe.org grew out of a program started by students at an independent school in Tarrytown, New York. That program periodically collected donations from the school community during a three-day period and then, on a subsequent three day period, put them on tables for anyone within the community to pick up in the event they needed and/or could use them.
What your community determines to collect and distribute (also discussed on the Logistics page) can depend on what types of things tend to be needed in that community. For a school, for example, one might consider what is needed on a shorter-term basis (such as when children grow out of items or when they are single-use type of items such as those required for a particular course or sport). We determined to collect and distribute the following types of gently used items:
* Sports equipment, including cleats and shoes
* Musical instruments
* Digital and film-leading cameras
* Backpacks, pencil cases, school bags
* Books for reading and reference, but not textbooks
* Three-ring binders, unused notebooks, sketch pads
* Ice-skates, snow boots, rain boots
* Three kinds of clothing: Certain standard dress items that were rarely needed and costly (navy blazers, dress trousers, etc.); school insignia apparel; and winter wear (hats, gloves, coats, snow pants).