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Boise nonprofit to close at the end of May after seven years

The nonprofit has recycled more than 350,000 bottles while providing job skills to former prison inmates, refugees, and low-income elderly people in the seven years it has been open. (photo courtesy of Usful Glassworks)

Usful Glassworks, a Boise nonprofit that provides job training and turns bottles into glassware, will close its doors at the end of May.

The director of Usful Glassworks says the closure is because of a financial shortfall. The nonprofit has recycled more than 350,000 bottles while providing job skills to former prison inmates, refugees, and low-income elderly people in the seven years it has been open. Executive Director Carlyn Blake was looking for a partnership or a buyer for the nonprofit earlier this spring, and also raised money to try and keep the nonprofit open but the money raised wasn't enough. Blake says thank you to donors and that the money will be used well.

“Rest assured that we will use your donations to close our nonprofit with dignity and grace as we pay our bills and take care of our loyal, hard-working employees,” she said May 12 in a statement.

This is the full letter the nonprofit has sent out to customers regarding the closure:

We Have Loved Being Part of Your Lives

A Note From Carlyn Blake, Executive Director

For over seven years, Usful Glassworks has provided jobs training, coaching and guidance for over 300 people in the community, many of them unemployable without our help. At the same time, we have recycled over 350,000 glass bottles. We are proud of what we were able to accomplish and thankful to this community giving us the opportunity to make a difference in so many lives.

Despite our best efforts, we will be closing our doors on May 31st. Thank you to everyone that donated during the All in Crusade and Idaho Gives this year in an effort to help us keep our doors open. Rest assured that we will use your donations to close our nonprofit with dignity and grace as we pay our bills and take care of our loyal, hard working employees.

What about my pending order?

We will continue to process our pending orders until May 25th. We are hoping that everything currently in the queue will be completed. If you have a pending order we will call you as soon as it's ready to pick up. We are no longer taking new orders.

What do I do with my empty wine, spirit and beer bottles?

First, the City of Boise does have a curbside glass collection program. If you are interested you can visit http://curbit.cityofboise.org/other-services/glass-collection/ and check out the program.

Second, there are several glass donation bins at Albertsons, fire stations, and recycling companies here in town. All of the glass in those bins are being locally recycled so feel free to take your glass to any collection bin and feel confident that your glass is still being recycled here in the Treasure Valley.

Are you selling your stock?

Yes! Right now our glassware stock is 25% off and there is a fairly good selection. Starting Monday our stock will be 50% off, but selection might not be as good so I would recommend you get to our facility as soon as you possibly can.

Our bottle stock will most likely be sold to whomever purchases our fire polish machine, but if nobody buys that then we will be open to offers.

What are you doing with your equipment?

It's all for sale! If you are interested in a laser etcher, lapidary, kiln, fire polish machine, tile saw, ladder, commercial dishwasher, etc. please contact me at carlyn@usfulglass.com. We are taking bids on equipment right now.

What are you doing with all your office furniture?

It's all for sale! If you want a desk, office chairs, cubical walls and shelving, display cases, refrigerator, microwave, etc. please contact me at carlyn@usfulglass.com and let me know.

I have led this organization since 2010 and I'm very honored to have done it. I have met tremendous people and I have grown personally and professionally from the experience. Thank you donors, customers, board members, participants, volunteers, interns and everyone that loves this organization. You will forever be special to me.

If you have any questions or you need anything please email me or call at 208-322-8272. Throughout the month of May we will be open Mon - Friday from 9am - 4:30pm.

Gratefully and sincerely,

Carlyn

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