One of the cornerstones of Opportunity House is its Reuse & Recycle Program. This program has helped to reuse, repurpose, and recycle over a million pounds of material including clothing, furniture, books, CDs, DVDs, shoes, belts, bedding, housewares, and small appliances. According to Jane Meaks, Executive Director of the Berks County Solid Waste Authority, this amount is larger than some curb-side pick-up programs in Berks County.
Along with a positive environmental impact, the Reuse & Recycle Program:
- Provides clothing for individuals and families, who stay at the shelter and in our short-term housing program.
- Creates jobs and provides job training for formerly homeless people.
- Secures basic household needs (bedroom furniture, kitchen sets, housewares, bedding) to formerly homeless individuals and families when they leave the shelter or short-term housing program and move into permanent housing.
- Provides affordable clothing, housewares, furniture, and other items to people in our community.
- Generates revenue for programs and services at Opportunity House.
Donations to the Reuse & Recycle Program
OppShop, the retail thrift store operated by Opportunity House is located at 3045 5th Street Highway and accepts donations at the rear of its retail store. It’s fast and easy to drop off items and the staff of OppShop will help customers unload items from their vehicles. Donations are accepted Tuesday-Saturday 10-6. If you have larger items to donate, please call 484-957-3861 to arrange for pickup.
With the opening of the short-term housing program and the increase in requests for shelter during the winter months, Opportunity House has an immediate need for clothing and household items. Clients receive vouchers to shop for clothing when they arrive at the shelter. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and shoes are always needed.
Reuse & Recycle: Why it Counts
While clients stay at Opportunity House, they create a plan to become stably housed. The case managers work with clients to identify the items they need when they secure permanent housing. Many families are starting over and need everything from bedroom furniture and kitchen sets to household items like pots and pans, dishes, silverware, cookware, bakeware, bedding, lamps, and small appliances.
The Berks County community plays a pivotal role by repurposing, reusing, and recycling items they no longer need. Bins located throughout Berks County make it easy for residents to donate items in their own neighborhood.
A Legacy of Impact
Today, as Opportunity House celebrates its 40th anniversary, it is the community’s primary resource providing emergency shelter to over 500 clients each year.
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, allowing parents 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.
YOU Can Make a Difference
Moving? Upgrading? Helping a friend or loved one clean and clear space? Opportunity House is always in need of contributions and donations to the Reuse and Recycle Program. An easy way to help is to locate one of the many donation bins in Berks County for a convenient drop-off, contact OppShop to arrange a pickup of large items, or stop by the shop yourself. Your time and contribution help to make a difference in the lives of the men, women, children, and families helped through Opportunity House and its services.
Your contribution supports not only new jobs and services but also vital needs for those individuals making their way out of homelessness. Your donation is part of essential support leading to foundational success.
Every action counts and the Reuse and Recycle Program at Opportunity House is driven by the contributions of people like you looking to make an impact in the lives of others. Please join us in continuing the legacy of Opportunity House for those in need now and in the future.