Make What Matters: Caring for Kansas City’s Environment, Education and Homeless Through Creative Reuse
Housed in a large, unassuming warehouse just off Southwest Boulevard and 31st Street is ScrapsKC, a rapidly growing, non-profit creative reuse center. It’s a virtual playground for creatives. As they enter the warehouse, their eyes are filled with awe and wonder as they take in the colorful and unique materials that have been diverted from Kansas City’s landfills. But behind the eye candy is an organization diligently working to make what matters.
In 2016, Jeff and Brenda Mott founded ScrapsKC after a homeless man asked them for a job.
This was the perfect opportunity to marry their passion for the environment and education with their passion for serving the homeless. Brenda began sourcing inventory from various businesses and manufacturers in Kansas City as they moved closer to their goal for a creative reuse center. After accumulating 12 tons of materials in their home, their vision to serve the community in their adopted hometown came to fruition.
Over the last 4 ½ years, ScrapsKC has diverted over 200 tons of creative materials from the landfill and provided them to the community for creative reuse. Traditional arts and crafts materials mingle with the unusual manufacturing by-products and overruns. Clothing and jewelry designers, quilters, artists, teachers, makers, and families are some of the customer base that visit time and again to make purchases for their creative needs or to donate materials.
In addition to diverting materials from the landfill, ScrapsKC seeks to educate and help educators. The ScrapsKC staff teaches community members about unique items or by-products created by our local manufacturers and are found in the resale shop. Additionally, ScrapsKC provides free and inexpensive materials to classroom teachers.
The staff has created a unique opportunity to provide teachers with free, repurposed supplies through their School Supply Drive. At the end of every school year, supplies that were headed to the landfill are collected and brought to ScrapsKC. Hundreds of community and homeless volunteers clean and restore all of the items which are distributed to teachers for free. Over 30,000 pounds have been donated to over 700 area teachers serving upwards of 17,000 students!
ScrapsKC continues Jeff and Brenda’s efforts to serve the homeless in Kansas City.
Breakfast is served downtown on Saturday mornings as a platform to invite the homeless to volunteer at the warehouse. The homeless men and women share their gifts to help maintain the facility or sort and package donated materials to sell in the resale shop. Our community benefits while the homeless complete purposeful work and receive food, dignity and survival items for their efforts.
ScrapsKC believes in the promise of a more responsible community. Creative upcycling is a mindset-a way of seeing the world a little differently. Because it’s not what it is, it’s what it could be. They see things a little differently and invite you to explore as well.
ScrapsKC and Avid Communications
ScrapsKC has done so much to help the Kansas City community, so when Clarus Communications, one of Avid’s agents, brought us together, we jumped at the opportunity.
ScrapsKC was growing and was needing their technology to scale up with them. That’s when we proposed the idea of hosted phones. Moving from one phone in their warehouse to a hosted business VoIP phone system opened up many more possibilities for ScrapsKC. An auto attendant helped direct caller questions, giving options to be directed to someone for donations, events, or store information. The mobile app has allowed the ScrapsKC staff members to answer a call at any time, whether they are out in the community, or working throughout the warehouse.
Not only was Avid able to implement a new phone system, we were able to help with their miscellaneous technology needs. Setting ScrapsKC up with a new router/firewall, network switch and access points for guest WiFi helped keep their operations up to date and capable of supporting their changing technology needs. With a nonprofit budget, we were still able to set up ScrapsKC with all their managed technical needs.
Avid is happy to work with ScrapsKC and we look forward to seeing more of their positive impact in the community!