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OppShop Celebrates Earth Day, Focuses on Reducing Waste

by Opportunity House

OppShop Celebrates Earth Day, Focuses on Reducing Waste

Opportunity House is committed to reducing waste and its impact on our environment. It’s Reuse and Recycle Program is at the forefront of repurposing, reusing and recycling items and reducing the carbon footprint in our community.

The Reuse and Recycle program represents the fundamentals of reusing, recycling and repurposing items to divert waste from landfills.   Each year, our community donates gently-used items to OppShop, Opportunity House’s retail thrift store located at 3045 5th Street Highway.  Bins located around Berks County make it easy for residents to donate items in their own neighborhoods.

All donations are processed at Opportunity House’s warehouse in Reading.  Clothing, books, housewares, furniture, appliances, and media are sorted, processed, and prepared for sale at OppShop.  Items that are unsaleable are processed and sold to recyclers.  Proceeds of the sales benefit the programs and services of Opportunity House.

This year, our Reuse and Recycle program will recycle nearly 1,000,000 pounds of materials.  This includes clothing, shoes, books, CDs, DVDs, housewares, and knick-knacks.  “Many people are surprised to learn of all the items we can recycle,” noted Denise Harner,  Director of Retail Operations.  A team of people sorts and separates items for recycling, while a team of truck drivers and assistants deliver the goods to the warehouse.  This creates jobs for homeless and formerly homeless clients.

OppShop, a retail thrift store, offers these gently used item for sale including:

Thrifters and treasure hunters flock to OppShop to search for hidden gems. From figurines to flatware and Pyrex and to paintings, it’s a collector’s paradise.

Items that don’t sell at OppShop are returned to the warehouse and sold at the popular Outlet Sales, held the last Friday of each month during the spring and summer months.

In addition to diverting waste from landfills, all proceeds from the Reuse and Recycle program support the programs and services of Opportunity House.

Since 1987, Opportunity House has been the community’s primary resource providing emergency shelter to over 500 clients experiencing homelessness each year.  According to Modesto Fiume, president, Opportunity House continues to address the needs of our community. “We provide temporary shelter for people in need. Our goal is to stabilize individuals and families and help them find permanent housing.”

When clients stay at Opportunity House, they receive individualized case management, life skills, and other resources to promote long-term housing stability. “We are passionate about empowering people to improve their lives. We help clients make lasting changes for long-term success,” said Fiume.

In addition to the homeless shelter, Opportunity House is a Keystone 4-star Early Childhood Learning Center with programs for newborns, preschool, and after-school programs. The Pre-K Counts program ensures that every child meets the requirements for kindergarten. Over 125 families benefit from the program by providing quality daycare to low-income families, giving parents an opportunity to work and providing economic stability for their family.

Opportunity House provides housing for over 100 clients through their transitional and permanent housing programs. These programs offer long-term support as part of the extended Opportunity House community. If you know someone needing shelter, please call 610-374-4696 ext 229.