What happens to our stuff once we’re done using it? Some of us sell things online, or give them away to friends or younger siblings.  A few of us turn old things into new things through recycled crafting.  Whatever the method of “disposal”, old stuff doesn’t just disappear. Instead of just throwing unwanted things away, why not give them a second life, instead?

This month, it’s made easier than ever, thanks to Give & Go.  This campus-wide program, now in its second year, assures that even during the most hectic time of the year, donation of unneeded stuff is easy and rewarding.  Amidst finals, graduation, plans for summer, and packing up dorm rooms, everyone can still find time to participate in Give & Go.

It turns out that the most stressful time of year at Pacific is also the time when we have the most stuff to get rid of.  Students packing up dorm rooms begin to realize all the things they’ve amassed during the year that they no longer have room for.  Furniture, old clothing, half-empty bottles of Windex, DVDs and hundreds of other items are left behind every spring as students pack up.  All of these items (yes, even the Windex bottles) are useful to someone else in our community.  Give & Go helps bridge the gap between hasty, stressed-out students and needy individuals and organizations in Forest Grove.

Last year’s Give & Go donation and collection efforts yielded tons of useful items that were then donated to local nonprofits.  The organization Adelante Mujeres benifitted from used text books and novels for their Education programs, while The Forest Grove Family Resource Center happily accepted clothing, nonperishable food and cleaning supplies.  It has been said that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, and this is illustrated through the Give & Go efforts.

Nonprofit organizations aren’t the only ones to benefit from the Give & Go program!  Student and staff volunteers who do everything from sifting through trash bins to sorting donations get to keep treasures that they find for themselves.  Last year, students came away from Give & Go volunteering with hundreds of items such as:  brand-new reusable water bottles, a playstation 2, designer shoes, unopened art supplies, jewelry, a Razor scooter, and a set of Rambo DVDs.  All for free!  There’s no telling what will turn up at Give & Go this year, so if you’d like to get involved and have first dibs on the goodies, contact Americorps Vista Kaely Summers at kaely@pacificu.edu.

If you can’t find time to volunteer from May 12 through May 21, don’t worry.  The biggest things you can do to help are to sort your own stuff, and have donations at the ready.  Also, don’t forget to spread the word about the program, and help others navigate the specifics of donating during Give & Go.  You’ll be giving new life to old things, diverting trash from the waste stream, and supporting our community.

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