Last weekend, crowds at the Class of 1923 Ice Rink proved that one man's trash really is another man's treasure.
At the sale, sponsored by PennMOVES, people were given the opportunity to help local charities by purchasing products left over during move-out, in addition to those donated directly by individuals and organizations.
Items for the sale filled most of the Ice Rink at the start of the sale last Saturday, said Barbara Lea-Kruger, Business Services spokeswoman and PennMOVES team leader.
For a five-dollar fee, shoppers looking for the widest possible selection were able to enter the pre-sale, which began two hours before the normal sale.
The items - which included furniture, bags, office supplies, books, decor, clothes, household goods, and electronics - were donated from a variety of sources.
For example, said Lea-Kruger, furniture from DuBois College House was donated to PennMOVES due to the house's renovations.
By the end of the sale, almost $30,000 was raised for charitable organizations, according to Lea-Kruger.
The proceeds will be given to the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which will then work with PennMOVES to redistribute the earnings to local charities.
Though Penn staff had the ultimate say in deciding which organizations will benefit from the sale, "the United Way lent assistance with information about organizations in the West Philadelphia area that could benefit," said United Way spokeswoman Camara Jordan.
The event was made possible with the help of Penn's Business Services division, Housing & Conference Services, United Way and City Year, a youth service organization.
PennMOVES is a project that began in 2008, but according to Lea-Kruger, this year's event had substantial differences.
Last year, the items were donated directly to charitable organizations, while this year, a financial donation will be made, Lea-Kruger explained. The change in donation setup occurred because charities are currently more in need of money rather than direct donations of goods.
In addition to the proceeds of the sale helping charities, Lea-Kruger said she believed the sale of low-priced goods also benefited those with little financial means.
"A lot of people in these tough economic times can benefit from the low prices here," she said.
Shoppers expressed overall satisfaction with the event.
"I was surprised at how much stuff there was," said Francis Tseng, a rising college junior .
Steven Sackon, a structural engineer, said, "I found stuff that I could use - winter coats, a few summer items."
And although the lines were long, Kimberly Araujo, a residential cleaner, said the "staff was very organized."