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Move Out Credit: Kira Simon-Kennedy , Kira Simon-Kennedy

Instead of toting everything back home or throwing it away, PennMOVES is expanding their partnerships so that students can donate their old textbooks overseas or formal dresses to local young women. 

This year, Residential Services is working with the Vietnam Book Drive, which sends donations to free libraries in Vietnam. Books on STEM subjects are preferred, but all types of books will be accepted. Donations can be dropped off in various locations throughout the Quadrangle and Hamilton Village on May 12, 13, 18 and 19. 

“The Vietnam Book Project was chosen specifically through an application process,” Senior Associate Director of Business Services Nancy McCue said. "They help fill a gap in what students can donate because Goodwill is not really in the textbook business." 

Also, the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia is sponsoring a formal dress collection to benefit 2015 Positive Ladies' Attitude Pageant, a confidence-building event for Philadelphia youth. Dresses should be dropped of in the lobby of Stouffer Commons or Curly’s Cleaners near 39th and Samson streets until May 15. 

Beginning Wednesday, April 29 until May 31, in each of the college houses, PennMOVES will accept donations of clothing, furniture, games, electronics and furniture for Goodwill. Nonperishable, unopened food items will also be accepted to give to Philadundance which supports local families in need. About 35,000 pounds of food were collected last year.

PennMOVES has been doing move-out charity work since 2008 and has grown each year. Donations also contribute to campus sustainability. In 2012, 26,000 pounds of goods were donated by students and kept out of landfills, and by 2014, that number doubled to over 52,000 pounds. “PennMOVES has really become part of the student culture, as people try to donate what all they can,” Associate Director of Residential Services Derek Hunsberger said.

Goodwill also recycles broken electronics and appliances in a sustainable way. “They will accept almost anything and use the money to increase education opportunities for their employees," McCue said.

PennMOVES also works with Penn Volunteers in Public Service, a program run out of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships that give scholarships to local high school students as well as appliances and supplies for their dorm rooms. “It’s a really nice thing, actually. They hold a ceremony after PennMOVES has ended where everything is given to the recipients in person,” McCue said.

The reason why Penn students can donate so much at the end of the year is because "we have a diverse student body who can’t take everything with them on the plane-ride home,” Communications Director of Business Services Barbara Lea-Kruger said. “It’s good for them to know that their things are going to a good cause.”

The UPS Store will provide package services at Hill College House and outside Hamilton Village near Harnwell College House as a new pilot partnership offered by Residential Services' Move-Out this year. “Students can bring what they want to ship to these closer location, instead of having to lug their belongings across campus,” Hunsberger said.

Aside from the expanded charities and new shipping options, Move-Out and PennMOVES remains a huge operation as usual. “We’re really excited to get everything ready for students to move out soon,” Hunsberger said. Business Services purchased and rented about 450 additional carts to prepare for the upcoming move-out rush.

“We also are working with the police to shut down Spruce Street and to reroute the buses on the 12th and 13th [of May] — those are going to be our biggest days for the move-out,” Hunsberger added.

“We like to encourage people to move out as early as they can to beat the rush, because there’s always battles for elevators and parking,” Hunsberger said. “People should take advantage of all our preparation and make it a smooth process for themselves.”

Undergraduates without an extension must move out by 5 p.m. on May 13, but extensions will be given to students who volunteer for Move-Out or PennMOVES. 

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