To provide every Maine child with the variety and quality of supplies needed to succeed in school.
Our mission is to ensure that students and classrooms in Maine have the basic tools for learning, by transferring surplus business supplies and merchandise into the hands of school children and teachers.
We believe in happy endings. Each day, throughout the school year, children in Maine attend school without needed pencils, paper, and other basic supplies. At the same time, businesses in Maine dispose of these same basic items. 3Rs transfers those unwanted supplies to children and their teachers. It is working! Since 1994, 3R’s has given away more than $48 million worth of surplus furniture, paper, books, office supplies and computers to Maine schools and non-profits.
In the end, it’s good for kids, education, the environment, and business.
3Rs is beginning it's 20th season of service to schools and non-profits. 3Rs had it's beginning in Ruth Libby's basement, then moved to one room in the Oak Hill Grammar School and eventually to Bessey School in Scarborough. Thanks to a grant from UNUM Charitiable Trust, in 2007 the organization was able to happily move to the Blueberry Road facility in Portland.
3Rs had roots in a note from Ruth's son's kindergarten teacher requesting household items such as egg cartons, meat trays, juice can lids,for use in craft projects. The right person was being asked because Ruth was a saver, as was her mother, her grandmother and some of my mother's UNUM friends. For a few years Ruth delivered these items to the school:this was followed by teachers picking up items at Ruth's "storeroom" basement in her home.
Things changed dramatically for Ruth after reading a newspaper article about a woman in Auburn who collected items from businesses to recycle to schools. With financial help from UNUM, Ruth's status changed from volunteer to Founder/CEO of Ruth's Reusable Resources (3Rs). A non-profit was established and two years later the move to the (21,000 sq.ft.) warehouse and teacher store (7,000 sq. ft.) on Blueberry Road.
3Rs has been very busy receiving donations, sorting and stocking products from corporations, businesses and individuals. The organization is fortunate to have a diverse group of hard working volunteers, ranging from students, teachers, people with disabilities, retirees and senior citizens.
As of December 1st, volunteers worked over 14,700 hours in the teacher store and in the warehouse. We could not survive without our volunteers!