When students pack up and leave campus for the summer, they typically leave behind large quantities usable items – things one might see at any yard sale in their own neighborhood. In the effort to be more sustainable and at the same time to be a good neighbor, Facilities has joined forces with Residence Life to make a difference in the community.
Each year on the day after commencement, the entire Facilities staff and Residence Life staff go through every room in the residence halls and pick up items that have been left behind to be donated. Students can donate furniture, appliances, cookware, lamps and computers that are operable and in good condition. Residence life supplies them with tags to identify what items they wish to donate.
Everything is loaded on trucks and brought the Union College Field House where it is separated and displayed in categories such as house wares, appliances, etc. The entire effort starts at 7 a.m. and is complete by 12 p.m. We also use this day as a team building opportunity within our department, a time when different groups from within Facilities and Residence Life can work side by side with someone they normally see during the day. The morning is topped off with a lunch provided by Facilities for everyone involved.
The same afternoon we arrange to meet with representatives of local charitable organizations to view the items and select which things that might be of use to folks in need. This year we met with representatives from Weed and Feed of Schenectady, the Schenectady YWCA, and Habitat for Humanity. The Facilities Department delivers items to the organizations if they can not pick them up.
Not only are we enabling our students to give back to the local community, but we are fostering teamwork with the Facilities Department and Residence Life, and reducing the amount of tonnage that goes into the local landfill.
For more information, contact Residential Life at (518) 388-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.