As students load up their cars for move-out day, they may have found not all of their belongings fit in the back of a mini-van the way they did on move-in day. Instead of throwing away that extra bag of clothes or desk chair that can’t be crammed in, why not donate it to Goodwill?
This was the idea behind the Goodwill drive held during finals week, as large blue bins were dropped off at each residence hall lobby and blue bags were distributed throughout all dorm rooms.
According to Ben Wright, director of Lewis J. Burger Center for Leadership and Service and the assistant director of student activities for leadership and service, the event was a success. Overall, students donated 1,662 pounds of clothing and household goods.
The event was coordinated by Lindsay Stephen, the former donation acquisition manager for Goodwill Peoria.
“Goodwill’s goal for this donation drive is for students to conveniently donate right on campus,” Stephen said. “Many students accumulate items throughout the year that they do not want to take home or simply throw away. Goodwill is providing the opportunity for students to keep items out of landfills and help the Peoria community by donating. Every donation supports the local community.”
According to Stephen, the event has been planned since late fall of 2017 and was made possible by the university’s support.
“It was important to get Bradley staff on board and understand Goodwill’s mission within the community,” Stephen said. “We handed out donation bags in student mailboxes, had marketing material printed and spoke to different student organizations to get the word out.”
Amanda Heard, a junior engineering major, said she contributed some of her old clothing to the drive.
“Usually, students just throw away things they don’t want, but if it’s in great condition, others would gladly enjoy them. It’s a great feeling knowing that you are helping others,” Heard said.
Though there were some guidelines and prohibited items (for example, broken furniture), Stephen stressed that all clothing items could be donated.
“We accept all [clothing] even if torn or stained. We will recycle it, rather than throwing it in a landfill,” Stephen said.
She said the items donated will contribute towards the betterment of the local community.
“All donations received from Bradley University’s drive will stay within the Peoria area supporting our programs and services,” Stephen said. “Goodwill’s mission is to put people to work while preserving the planet, one donation at a time.”
As this is her last year working at Goodwill, Stephen said she will miss working on projects like this.
“I cannot say enough about this organization. I love coming to work every day knowing that I am directly helping the community we are in,” Stephen said. “I think a lot of people don’t understand all that Goodwill Industries does in the Peoria area, and I love being the one who opens their eyes to all of the incredible things we do.”
This story is part of the Scout 2018 summer special issue. Read the full summer issue.