Residential Students Give Back to Goodwill, Second Harvest During Spring Move-Out

(May 27, 2014) At the end of the Spring 2014 semester, Armstrong students living on campus donated nearly 10 tons of unused items to Goodwill and Second Harvest.

Since 2010, the university's Facility Services department has placed Goodwill donation bins outside of the student housing areas on campus during the move-out period, which this year was May 5 through 16. The idea behind this effort is to give students a place to donate any items they don't want or can't take with them. This spring semester's donations exceeded the average amount of items received by more than five tons.

Dave Roberts, the environmental services and compliance coordinator for Facility Services, developed the idea after watching students move out in 2012.

“I was looking into the large construction dumpsters to see what was being thrown away as students moved out,” he says. “I saw bags of soft goods such as clothes as well as kitchen items and furniture. The thought was that someone else could use these items. I began to look for outlets for the donations.”

After some researching, Roberts decided to use Goodwill bins to collect the items. The donations could then be picked up directly by Goodwill and sold in their stores.

“The Goodwill bins fit the need – a self-serve secured bin that students could access 24 hours a day,” Roberts says. “The donation bins, especially the pod-type bin, made it easy for students to donate. The easier it is for the students to donate, the better.”

This year, for the first time, Facility Services also provided a collection bin for canned food items to be donated to Second Harvest. Katie Twining, Armstrong's director of Facility Services, reports that 727 donors participated in this spring's donation. The material consisted of 13,825 pounds of useable donations, 5,400 pounds of recyclable material and 385 pounds of canned and dry foods.

The ease of this donation setup helps Armstrong students on campus give back to their community. With the record-setting haul this spring, more students may be likely to donate their unused items and canned goods in semesters to come.