"Working at the ReBuilding Center was my most precious experience in the creative city of Portland!"
There seems to be a cultural connection between Japan and Portland demonstrated by all the interest from visitors, interns, and writers that visit the center on a continual basis. The ReBuilding Center was happy to provide resources and education about our nonprofit model when the only other ReBuilding Center location was launched last year in Suwa City, Nagano prefecture in Japan. Tomona arrived at the ReBuilding Center in July of 2017 from Japan. She heard about us while visiting the ReBuilding Center Japan and got in touch with Dave Lowe, the Volunteer Services Manager at the ReBuilding Center in Portland, about the possibility of an internship.
While attending the Portland English Language Academy for the subsequent six months, she lent her talents in design and carpentry as an intern at the ReBuilding Center. Her first project was to re-design all of our in-store creative reuse flyers that highlight projects that can be done using items commonly found in the store. She also built a number of "prototype" examples of projects that can be used to displayed around the store and at community events. Her goal was to improve her English language skills while immersing herself in the creative and resourceful culture of Portland in a way that utilized her skill sets.
" While working at the ReBuilding Center, I created some reuse examples working with salvaged materials, and redesigning two templates of a 'Creative ReUse Library' binder. I also created a step-by-step guide on how to modify these templates. I hope it will be helpful for future interns.
I really appreciate how the ReBuilding Center team members welcomed and supported me. Even though I was an amateur DIY'er, they allowed me to freely express creative reuse! "
- Tomona, RBC Intern
I hope to raise awareness about Creative ReUse and let people know that it is not difficult. You can do it because I did it as well!
Since leaving Portland, Tomona is back in Japan and is gearing up for a one-month internship with the ReBuilding Center Japan in Suwa, Nagano where she will share what she learned here at our organization in Portland, Oregon, with the goal to help promote a reuse culture abroad! Our team is so grateful Tomona's interest in supporting our work to build community through reuse and sharing it with others!