The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse collects the cast-offs that would otherwise become garbage and sells them for bargain-basement prices to be made into a gazillion creative products. The Oakland, Calif., non-profit was launched in the 1970s by teachers looking for cheap classroom supplies. Today it remains a godsend for educators with strapped-tighter-than-ever budgets. But it has also become a regular stop for artists and other creative souls looking for offbeat stuff that cries out for a second life.
The Depot helps the community in another way, too, conserving resources that otherwise would take up valuable space in the landfill. In addition, the Depot staff in recent years has helped provide clothing to needy people in rural communities in California as well as in Mississippi, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Depot's motto: "Every teacher's first stop and every artist's second home."