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Faculty and Staff Hold 10th Annual Dumpster Drive for Charity

April 18, 2018
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—The concept is simple: Strategically station Otterbein faculty and staff near residence hall dumpsters during student move-out days — April 23-30 — to help keep reusable items out of the dumpsters, sort those items, and donate them to local charitable organizations.

Special collections will be made to benefit Otterbein’s own Promise House, a student-led community resource center that serves under-resourced students. We offer services to help peers flourish including a community café, campus food pantry, referrals to community resources, peer advocacy, volunteer opportunities, and educational workshops.

The results of the annual event speak for themselves: hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food along with truckloads of furniture, small appliances, clothing and toiletries are donated to Promise House and other non-profit organizations, including WARM (Westerville Area Resource Ministry), Otterbein Thrift Shop, Amethyst Women’s Shelter, Concord Counseling, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, and others. All while reducing the amount of move-out waste headed to landfills.

Each year, faculty and staff from departments across campus monitor and sort through dumpsters across campus, in what Associate Professor Kerry Strayer, the organizer of the Dumpster Drive, calls a “short term, low effort, high impact faculty service project.”

“Since the Dumpster Drive began in 2008, we have been immensely successful at keeping things out of the landfill and re-purposing and recycling the items, while helping our students and area residents in need at the same time,” she said.

The Department of Nursing faculty volunteers their time and the Department’s laundry machines to launder as many as 40 loads of clothes, sheets, towels and pillows each year, which are then donated to charities.

“When students move out of the dorms they throw away many usable things, most often items they just can’t fit in their cars,” Strayer said. “We try to make sure the items never end up in the dumpster.”

This year, in addition to monitoring the dumpster sites and sorting items, volunteers will hand out candy in the lobbies of residence halls in exchange for donations of reusable items in the two days leading up to move-out.

For more information about the Dumpster Drive for Charity, contact Jenny Hill at (614) 823-1284 or jhill@otterbein.edu.

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Jenny Hill
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