California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Reuse Organization Profiles

Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT)

OverviewScience Display

RAFT is a nonprofit organization that collects surplus business items from computers to packing materials and, through workshops, trains teachers to use these materials in the classroom to enhance their programs including math, science, art, and technology. RAFT enables teachers to improve the quality of learning through the materials, and simultaneously saves them teachers money.

History

RAFT originated in 1995 by executive director Mary Simon and has grown to serve over 600,000 school children in the Bay Area with large amounts of school materials previously destined for the landfill.

Operations

RAFT operates in part by disabled volunteers, who assist in packaging materials for classroom use. Hundreds of members visit RAFT's 34,600 square-foot facility each week to obtain inexpensive school supplies and computers, and to participate in workshops that provide creative ideas for teaching. Teachers in 85 percent of local public schools are members of RAFT, as are many private schools and hundreds of children-oriented nonprofit organizations. RAFT received $400,000 from the Cadence Stars and Strikes event in October 2001, and recently completed a $5 million capital campaign to pay for its San Jose building. These efforts are enabling RAFT to further expand its services to reach additional teachers and children.

Materials Accepted Source of Materials Collection Services Geographic
Service Area
Letterhead, office items, all clean materials and manufacturing by-products. Staff and volunteers sort the items, refurbish computers, and compile kits for classrooms. Local businesses and industry. All materials are donated. Free within 25 miles for businesses only. Bay Area.

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Last updated: May 23, 2014
Reuse, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Reuse/
LAMD@calrecycle.ca.gov, (916) 341-6199