The organization that I work with has been an active member of NAEIR for about 8 years now. Here is my observation: NAEIR is a great opportunity for organizations that want to squeeze every penny out of their dollars and have supplies and materials for use by children, youth, elderly, ill and low-income individuals. NONE of the merchandise is to be sold or bartered for profit in any way. None of the items may be used directly by staff…unless it is for the betterment of the individuals that they serve who fit the above categories. NAEIR acquires merchandise that brand name businesses and corporations have cast aside for whatever reason. Most of them are not damaged in anyway. They have a large variety of items…not just craft items, as was suggested. The person doing the order should project over a large time frame and develop a ‘wish list’ of items that they feel their organization can use. Then, match what is on that list with what they offer in their catalog–this does take time and should be done by someone that is real familiar with your organization’s events, recognitions, and activities throughout the year. Then, the order must be submitted via internet or FAX. The NAEIR workers try and fill as many of the items on the list as possible. However, they have a finite amount of any one thing…and it is ‘first come/first serve’. Because we are based out of FL, we are unable to go directly to their warehouse to pick up our items because of distance and high cost of gas. That makes it more expensive for us because we have to have them ship it to us. It costs about 50 cents per pound to have things shipped. However, I have noticed that the ‘poundage’ they have listed is not true weight. I think the poundage is based on how popular the item is and how many of them they have in the warehouse. For instance, 6 lip gloss pkgs might be listed as a pound…and a man’s suit might be listed as a pound…and 5 notebooks might be listed as a pound. Obviously, they are all not weighing a true pound. That being said, we average about 5 orders a year from NAEIR. Because we have a very specific population that we are serving, I have limited items that we can use. Even so, we average receiving about $30,000 worth of goods each year (retail value)…and we pay in about $2,000/year–that pays for our membership fee plus all shipping & handling costs for all items. As stated by others, the items themselves are given freely at no cost. We have gotten brand new men’s suits with the tags still in them; brand new sneakers for young men; all sorts of school supplies; safety vests for them to use when doing community work; safety glasses w cases; welding gear for them to learn that trade; a host of top brand name tools; particulate masks to protect them when doing lawn maintenance; hygiene products; shorts & T-shirts; educational materials of all sorts; first aid materials; electronics such as cameras and equipment to use with computers including software; gift bags and bows for special recognitions; awards and trophies; kitchen supplies; building supplies; etc. As you can see, it is a far cry from only being ‘craft’ materials…all of these things were brand new…none of them were ‘junk’. When a person deals daily with people who are truly needy, these items are treasures that are truly appreciated. I guess if you have enough money to select what you wear from the mall or pick out your own hygiene products of a specific brand name you want…then NAEIR products would probably not interest you. Being a NAEIR member has meant that we were able to continue to provide quality products to our members even when our finances have been cut to the core by steadily decreasing budgets. For that, we are very thankful. There are a few observations that can increase the usability of a NAEIR membership…which a person learns over the years. As with most things, you get better at it with time. If we were ever sent something we could not use directly in our program, we took it to another group that could use it in theirs. Nothing is ever wasted or thrown away.