Move out, don’t throw it out’ meets success

Now in its sixth year, “When You Move Out Don’t Throw It Out” has had a greater response this year than ever before.

The Harshman Community Room is the space being used to temporarily store these donations, and it’s overflowing with things collected from all over campus.

Everything is neatly organized with futon mattresses stacked up to the ceiling in the corner next to futon frames. Clothes and hats are strewn across sets of tables against the back wall next to cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. In the front of the room, huge collections of canned goods are sorted on tables in the front window.

Collection boxes are placed at dorms, stores and apartments all over campus at the end of every spring semester. The program encourages the donation of food, clothing, cleaning products, furniture and other household items.

Laura Milarcik, a senior Tourism Adminstration major, is offering her services for the third year in a row.

“The first year I just volunteered a couple of days, so I know we had a lot of stuff here. Last year, we filled up the whole room and this year it’s overflowing, we barely have enough room. So, its definitely the most I’ve ever seen,” Milarcik said.

Jessica Falgner is a recent graduate who has offered her services for several years to the program.

“If you look around, there is so much stuff, and it’s helping a lot of people. A lot of this stuff would be thrown away or not be used. Saving space in the dumpsites, and helping people out at the same time is why I do it,” Falgner said.

Nicholas Hennessy, associate director of Residence Life, summarized the total amount collected, saying “I would say at least 25-30 percent more than last year.”

With the great response from the student body, donating everything from furniture to canned foods, the program will need a bigger space if the trend continues, he said.

“It’s to the point where it’s expanding beyond the boundaries of the room, it’s tough to get a lot more stuff in there” Hennessy said.

According to Hennessy, he got the idea when one of his staff members introduced him to a similar program that was being done at Texas Tech University.

“So we kind of took it, and just piloted it that first year, seeing how it might work, and it ended up working really well the first year. So, we just kept working on it each year, improving it, making it bigger, getting more people involved,” he said.

Many may wonder where all these donations go in the end.

According to Hennessy, “They go to about 20 different organizations that represent a lot of needy individuals and families in the BG and Toledo area.”

Some of the many recipients are the United Way, Charity Street Mission, The Cocoon Shelter, Rural Opportunities, local food banks and other charitable organizations.

Hennessy believes this program has a very positive impact on the community and the people within it.

“I think it keeps things out of the dumpsites, and it helps to educate students to think, rather than just throw that out, maybe somebody could use that pillow, that blanket, that pair of flip-flops, something like that,” Hennessy said.

As for the future of the program, “I’d love to have it expand and become bigger. Part of the issue is the location this time of year is very difficult. So you have to kind of just do what you can in terms of space,” Hennessy envisioned.