FROM THE ARCHIVES: In December 2006, CBS 5 News in San Francisco aired a hard-hitting investigation into the used clothing collector, ‘Gaia Movement USA’, then active in the Bay Area, and a related ‘volunteer training school’ called Campus California, then operating in the small town of Etna, near the Oregon border. The ‘school’ is seen in the photo’s background.
The CBS 5 website’s description of the report said: “In this season of giving [Dec. 2006], a new charity in the Bay Area is welcoming volunteers and clothing donations through its green-colored bins with the friendly ‘Gaia’ label. But behind the green box, investigative reporter Anna Werner uncovers a Danish organization known as ‘Tvind,’ or ‘Teachers Group.’ Critics call it a cult that is using people’s good will to make millions in profit.”
TvindAlert founder, journalist Michael Durham, appears in an interview included in the program.
Campus California’s school in Etna, which was one of Tvind’s ‘Travelling Folk High Schools’ [Danish: Den Rejsende Højskole (DRH)], closed under mysterious circumstances in December 2009. The group has since relocated to the Bay Area, where it continues only as a used clothing collection operation. In Nov. 2014, the group changed its name to ‘Recycle for Change’.
Gaia Movement USA is a Chicago-based, Teachers Group-run company, founded in 1999, which has hundreds of its donation bins placed in Chicago, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, and, for a few years, had bins in Tennessee. The group’s California operation left the Bay Area soon after CBS 5 ’s story aired, relocating their bins to the state’s Central Valley region. They pulled out of California entirely in 2018.
Award-winning investigative reporter, Anna Werner, left CBS 5 in 2010 and is currently a CBS News correspondent based in New York City.
The report is here