|Students Turn Items Left Behind in Dorms into Merchandise for Charity Store Shelves
May 14, 2009
Contact: Bill Giduz
Student volunteers at Davidson College are working this week to make sure the flotsam and jetsam of the past year of dorm life doesn’t go to waste.
|(l-r) Lindsay Brownell '10 and James Wudel '11 team up to carry a bin from a residence hall to their pickup truck.|
Twenty students are engaged in a nine-day effort to collect and recycle clothing, furniture, electronics and housewares from their peers who are leaving campus for summer break. It’s the fifth year in a row at Davidson for the Clothing and Furniture Drive, and it will yield thousands of pounds of used items for donation to local charities.
Student organizers Kaela Frank ‘11, Jenny Estill ’10 and Alex Gregor ‘09 received a college “Green Grant” and Stone Fund Grant to conduct the project. The funds were used primarily to purchase 50 large, heavy-duty bins for placement in residence halls. Students have been urged to place items they’re not taking away into the bins, rather than throwing those items in the trash. Twice a day volunteers load the bins into pickup trucks and take them to two campus eating houses, where the large dining rooms provide ample space for sorting and storage.
A steady stream of clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, toys, books, school supplies and even food has been collected since last Friday, when underclass students began completing exams and vacating campus. First-year student Andrew Linville, who has worked every shift of the drive, said, “Everyone’s trying to leave as soon as possible as they finish exams, and they would just be throwing this stuff in the trash if we didn’t offer the alternative of recycling it for someone to reuse.”
As volunteers bring in the bins, other students sort the contents into piles on the eating house floor. There are piles of rugs, stacks of microwave ovens and computer printers, a small forest of floor lamps, mountains of clothing, and a “miscellaneous” corner rich with treasures such as DVDs, gift baskets, alarm clocks and telephones.
The heaviest day of the drive is expected to be Monday, May 18, toward noon, since that’s the deadline for seniors who graduate on Sunday to vacate residence halls. Organizers have arranged for area charities to come to campus on Monday and pick up items appropriate to their mission. The charities involved are Salvation Army, Transition Homes of Lake Norman, CUP Ministries, Triple Cross Ranch, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, the Bin, Lydia’s Loft, the Ada Jenkins Community Center, and Crisis Assistance Ministry.
Student organizer Kaela Frank and several other volunteers will be packing some of the school supplies into suitcases they’ll take with them Monday morning on a community service trip to Santarém, Brazil. The students will spend the following 10 days helping construct a community center there for homeless children, and will give the supplies to the children with whom they work.
|Kaela Frank '11 was inspired to help organize the drive after a semester in India where she observed that the poor let almost nothing go to waste.|
While the items in this year’s drive will be given directly and immediately to charity, organizer Frank said she hopes the drive will evolve into a giant community yard sale. She said, “If we could store all this over the summer and sell it to students and community members when school resumes, we could give students an alternative to buying new housewares every year, as well as generating cash for charities that don’t accept clothing and furniture.”
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.
Posted By: Bill Giduz