Students’ Discards Becomes Charities’ Treasures

Items left behind in college dorms are wheeled onto a Salvation Army donation truck to be sold at our Family Thrift Stores. (Photo: Telegram & Gazette Staff/CHRISTINE PETERSON)

It’s about that time of year when college students move out of their dorm rooms and head back home for the summer, but sometimes, all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over the past year doesn’t take the road trip with them, whether it be for lack of want, space, or another reason.

Instead of ditching or throwing away perfectly good items, from clothes to books to appliances, students have an opportunity to give them new second-hand life with the help of The Salvation Army.

At Skidmore College in New York, the school has partnered with The Salvation Army and other local charities for their annual “Give and Go” event. Student volunteers collect the usable items left behind in the dorms and donate them to charities that can put them to good use. Read the full story about this conservation effort at Skidmore College’s website by clicking here.

According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,  several other colleges in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are participating in similar efforts, with Salvation Army trucks swinging by the campuses following the student exodus. Between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of goods and food are salvaged at each location, diverting the items from the landfill and into the hands of people in need. Find the full article here.

Great idea, right? We already recycle newspaper, glass, and cans – why not make more of a concerted effort to do it with clothes and other belongings? Other cities, including New York, are also adopting new initiatives in the interest of keeping more usable items out of our nation’s landfills.

Many of the goods received by The Salvation Army are sold through its family stores to fund vital rehabilitation services. Some of these goods also go to families in need that are identified through other programs of The Salvation Army, and those families are provided with vouchers to “shop” at the family stores. To find out more about how The Salvation Army keeps gently used goods from going to waste, or to set up a pick-up in your area, please visit us online at