Volunteers revive Re-Use Center

Anna Morelock/USAG Wiesbaden Public Affairs
Tanja Virtanen (from left), Kelley Scrocca and Alicia Bailey volunteer their time to keep the Re-Use Center open on Clay Kaserne.

When an announcement went out that the Re-Use Center would be closing unless a volunteer organization took it over, Kelley Scrocca waited for a group to step up and take over. When that didn’t happen, she took it on herself.

“I like free stuff as much as the next person,” Scrocca said, adding that the Re-Use Center is the best thing she’s seen at an installation. With regular moves, people get rid of so much stuff. Some of it can go to the thrift shop, but a lot just gets junked, she said.

“I’ve met so many people here,” Scrocca said. “I don’t spend a lot of time here, but you see the same people and you say, ‘Hi.’ It’s a community asset. All the way around it’s a community asset.”

Scrocca’s first step was to start a Facebook group to gauge volunteer interest for the Re-Use Center. She said she was encouraged by the feedback and set out to start a private organization to make the group official. From the time Scrocca started the process until the group took over running the Re-Use Center Oct. 8 was less than two months.

“Everybody I contacted was encouraging and responsive and supportive,” she said.

Scrocca also works full time and homeschools three children, so having reliable volunteers is important. The group tries to have two on hand during the center’s open hours.

Anyone interested in volunteering can get more information on the group’s Facebook page, “Wiesbaden Re-Use Center,” email wiesbadenreuse@gmail.com, or just stop by the center.

The Re-Use Center will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. and the first and third Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These hours are for the Re-Use Center only. The Recycle Center will not be open on Saturdays, and community members will not be allowed to leave recyclable items when that portion of the center is not open.

Items for donation to the Re-Use Center should be placed in designated drop-off areas where staff will sort through them before they are placed on the shelves for community members to pick up. This is for insurance purposes, Scrocca said, so staff can sort out unsanitary or unsafe items.

The Re-Use Center will also take unopened, unexpired, non-perishable food items that will be redistributed on site, and clothing donations that will be passed on to the Sexual Harassment and Response Program for their fall clothing swap.