Instead of the annual thrift sale of Penn students’ discarded goods at the end of the year, Philadelphia residents will now be able to buy the goods from PennMOVES all year round.
PennMOVES is a program executed by Penn’s Business Services that gives students the infrastructure to donate any items they wish to discard during move out.
As students prepare to leave for the summer, they can drop off their goods at the many designated drop-off locations around campus, and the items will be donated to Goodwill Industries — a nonprofit organization that provides job training and employment services with revenue from the many thrift stores that it operates.
This year, as opposed to years past, PennMOVES will no longer host its annual summer sale. Instead, they will donate all of the items to Goodwill, which is going through an expansion. The items will be sold in the stores year round.
“Goodwill is actually opening a store in West Philadelphia,” Tracy Hawkins, the sale coordinator for PennMOVES, explained. “So rather than have a sale, they are going to use the items they collected to stock their stores in South Philadelphia and Northeast Philadelphia and to cede the store in West Philadelphia, which will be opening in late summer [or] early fall.”
The new Goodwill thrift store will be located at 5050 Parkside Ave., just a 10 to 15 minute drive from campus.
In 2008, the program’s first year, PennMOVES invited local charities to come and choose what they wanted from the collected items. For the following two years, PennMOVES partnered with United Way, a nonprofit organization, to have a sale which was open to the entire community at the University’s Class of 1923 Arena.
Then, during 2011 and 2012, the University partnered with Goodwill Industries to organize a community sale at the University’s property across the Schuylkill, known as the South Bank.
Through last year’s collection alone, Goodwill raised approximately $45,000.
“Over the last five years, we’ve collected almost [half of a million] pounds of clothing, electronics, housewares, et cetera,” added Hawkins. “It was 90,000 pounds worth of items that otherwise would have made it into a landfill that were repurposed.”
The purpose of PennMOVES has always been two-fold, explained Barbara Lea-Kruger, director of communications and external relations at Business Services. “One is sustainability because all of this stuff was going to a landfill. The other one is to support the local community,” she said. “It’s the Penn Compact and the Climate Action Plan put together!”
The program was changed this year in an effort to become more sustainable and efficient.
“We’ve been looking for a way to keep collecting stuff that the students have but make it so that it is a sustainable process that we can do year after year after year,” added Lea-Kruger.
Another new aspect of PennMOVES is that there will now be two permanent Goodwill donation boxes on campus: one at Rodin College House and one at Sansom Place West.
PennMOVES will now also work with Goodwill to repurpose electronic waste for no additional cost. In past years, this was given to an outside organization who charged the University for the service.
Students can drop off almost anything that they might have in their rooms, including clothing, furniture, TVs, refrigerators, Halloween costumes, chairs and toys.
Students can also donate food. Though Goodwill does not accept food, any unopened, nonperishable donations will go to the People’s Emergency Center in Philadelphia.
The official collection period begins on May 2 and continues until May 15 for undergraduates and May 31 for graduate students. The collection locations will include Hill College House, Kings Court/English College House, the Upper Quad, the Lower Quad, Hamilton Village and Sansom Place West.Comments powered by Disqus
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