NIU students urged to donate responsibly, recognize social impact

May 8, 2013

Online Staff Report

DEKALB, Ill. — With the end of the spring term and students packing up for the summer break, Northern Illinois University (NIU) is preparing for the annual move-out flood of unwanted household items typically discarded by students departing on-campus housing. This year, the school is participating in a nationally-piloted program called “Give and Go: Move Out 2013” to keep these items out of the trash and instead see them put to “good re-use.”

Between April 30 and May 11, NIU will work with Goodwill to set out special donation bins at residence halls for use by students cleaning out their rooms.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 3 million students live in campus housing at 2,100 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide. Each year, 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 trash receptacles.

This is a growing problem for DeKalb,” said Goodwill President Sam Schmitz. “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 2013 is an easy clean-up solution that offers real results.”

The pilot initiative, organized by Keep America Beautiful and Goodwill in conjunction with the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), encourages college students to do something good by donating their unwanted clothing, kitchen items, electronics, books and dorm 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. After students donate their goods, those items are sold at Goodwill stores, and the revenue is used to fund job training and community-based services for people who face challenges to finding employment.

NIU is one of five universities chosen for the initiative. The other institutions selected include Creighton University in Nebraska, Franklin College in Indiana, Trinity University in Texas and University of Toledo.

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,” said Schmitz. “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 dropped off large blue containers to be placed in the lobby of residence halls, and students are encouraged to donate items that they’re not taking home. When full, containers will be emptied and replaced. This will last through the semester’s end.

For more information, call Goodwill at (815) 987-6237 or visit www.goodwillni.org.

Posted May 8, 2013

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