IRN Collaborates with MeTEOR Education and Jefferson County (CO) to Furnish Classrooms for Local and Refugee Children in Amman, Jordan


In June 2016, IRN loaded two trailers from the Foothills and Hutchinson Elementary Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado.  IRN’s longtime partner MeTEOR Education is helping Jeffco with a system-wide furniture upgrade, and when MeTEOR suggested IRN and reuse as a cost-effective alternative to throwing their old furnishings into dumpsters, Jeffco readily agreed.  The furnishings – more than 1,600 student and teacher desks, chairs, activity tables, file cabinets, AV carts, and other items – traveled by truck, ship, and then by truck again to the Al-Khansaa School (grades 1-7) in Amman, Jordan.  The Al-Khansaa School, which was almost entirely lacking desks until this shipment arrived, provides educational opportunity to local Jordanian children, and to a large and growing number of children from Syrian refugee families.

New Furnishings from Contrax and IRN Transform a Jamaican High School

At Trenchtown High School in Jamaica, students struggle to work with supplies that have been stretched past their limits.  It’s hard to get an education when you don’t even have a place to sit in your classroom.  This video follows a shipment from MeTEOR Education (formerly Contrax Furnishings) as it transforms the learning environment for Trenchtown HS students – from sparse and broken desks and chairs for students and teachers alike, to new, sturdy and ample furniture in refreshed and rejuvenated classrooms.  We don’t often get to follow a single shipment like this; when we do, it reminds us that we want to do more and work harder at it.

Job Training, Deconstruction, Recycling, Reuse:  Columbia Creates Opportunity from an Abandoned Drug Clinic

Columbia University had a big problem called Reality House:  Two stories in an abandoned drug rehab clinic, filled with years worth of patient and financial records, derelict computers, used furniture, and building materials from partially constructed offices.  With IRN’s help, Columbia turned big problem into major opportunity.  Employing trainees from Nontraditional Employment for Women (NOW), Columbia provided practical on-the-job training in deconstruction, at the same time cleaning out and cleaning up the space to achieve >90% recycling and reuse, and safe, legal disposition of electronic equipment and confidential records.  Truckloads of furnishings and building materials were provided to local nonprofit Build It Green – NYC, and reinjected straight back into the local community.  All this was provided at a cost to Columbia tens of thousands of dollars less than hiring a contractor to demolish the space and haul the stuff to disposal.

Bellarmine College Prep, IRN, and One Workplace Make a Difference in Classrooms 3,000 Miles Away

How can one school in San Jose, CA make a difference in a country over 3,000 miles away?  In partnership with IRN and One Workplace, a Steelcase dealer in northern California, Bellarmine College Preparatory did just that.  When Bellarmine acquired new faculty and student furniture, they asked One Workplace and IRN to find a solution that would divert the surplus furniture from landfill.  IRN made a match with the charity Food For The Poor, and three shipping containers holding nearly 600 Bellarmine desks, chairs, work tables, lockers and other items were provided to desperately needy schools in Jamaica, Haiti, and El Salvador.

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