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Most weekends, we go on an enrichment activity to gain a better understanding of the community we are working in. This Saturday, we were able to visit The Scrap Exchange in Durham, and experience a small part of what the non-profit is involved in.

The Scrap Exchange is a creative reuse arts center. They accept donations of pretty much anything and they run a more traditional thrift store that sells classic thrift store paraphernalia. But it’s what they do with the more non-traditional donations that makes The Scrap Exchange so unique. With donations like glitter, fabric, and various other types of supplies, The Scrap Exchange reclaims and resells these resources at a very low cost. For educators and students, this can be a great low-cost alternative to buying brand new supplies. The Scrap Exchange also has a “Make N Take” room where people of all ages can come and create art out of donated materials and take it with them.

When we visited on Saturday, we were able to experience a bit of what goes into making the donated materials resell-able. We took a tour of the building, and then we had stations where we would work with different materials to package them in a way that would be attractive to customers. For example, at one station we were working with felt of all different shapes and sizes, so we cut them into more easily usable squares of felt. Another station was using magazines and books and other materials to create collage bags, which were full of a variety of pictures that could make a collage. It was actually a fun experience, especially for me! Although I am not creative in the least, I still enjoy creating things. We were able to let our creativity (or lack thereof) run free by creating homemade Scrap Exchange stickers, that ended up looking really cool.

The Scrap Exchange stations

It was great to be able to experience this piece of Durham, and to see some of the truly unique and creative things that the Durham community has established. We were able to contribute to The Scrap Exchange while seeing the good it does. It was a great trip, and I look forward to visiting The Scrap Exchange again!