College students urged to donate responsibly, recognize social impact
With the end of the spring semester and students packing up for the summer break, Northern Illinois University is preparing for the annual flood of unwanted household items typically discarded by students departing on-campus housing.
Students leaving campus encounter storage and car trunks that can only hold so much, and often leave perfectly good clothes, electronics, books and furniture in overflowing campus dumpsters.
NIU’s Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy (ESE Institute), along with Housing & Dining and the Golden Key International Honour Society, have partnered with Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois to collect these gently used unwanted items.
Through Monday, May 11, NIU will work with Goodwill to set out special donation bins at residence halls for use by students cleaning out their rooms.
“This is an ongoing problem for DeKalb each spring,” Goodwill President Sam Schmitz said. “We know NIU students are eco-friendly and willing to do something on behalf of the planet if it’s convenient and fun. Give and Go! Move Out 2015 is an easy clean-up solution that offers real results.”
The donation drive encourages college students to do something good by donating their unwanted residence hall room items as they clean out for summer break. The purpose of Give and Go! is to encourage students to reduce waste and boost existing sustainability practices on campus.
“We continually look for win-win partnerships that increase environmental sustainability at NIU,” said Melissa Burlingame, ESE Institute outreach and communications specialist. “We expect to see this initiative grow in the future with collection sites available for off-campus students.”
After students donate their goods, those items are sold at Goodwill stores. The revenue is used to fund job training and community-based services for people who face challenges to finding employment.
Since the beginning of the partnership in 2012, more than 32,000 pounds of items have been collected and diverted from area landfills.
“A box of books can provide 13 hours of on-the-job training, eight desk lamps can provide an hour-and-a-half of résumé preparation,” Schmitz said. “Give and Go! is an opportunity to donate responsibly and recognize how donating the things you can no longer use can have an important social impact.”
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois will drop off large blue containers to be placed in the lobby of residence halls, and students will be encouraged to donate the items that they’re not taking home. When full, containers will be emptied and replaced.
Accepted items include, but are not limited to, gently used clothing, housewares, blankets and electronics. Unaccepted items include televisions, chemicals, carpeting, guns and ammunition. For a full list of accepted and unaccepted donations, see the signs on the bins as well as the Give & Go! posters in residence halls.
For more information, call (815) 987-6237 or email [email protected].