DeKALB – Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and Northern Illinois University teamed up and created an imperative partnership for the DeKalb campus and community in 2013. NIU students and faculty collected gently-used clothing and other unwanted items for the Give and Go: Move Out 2013 Donation Drive in the spring of 2013 and the Goodwill, Not Landfill! Donation Drive in the winter of 2013. Goodwill supplied special donation bins at all residence halls for use by students cleaning out their rooms.
During move out periods, NIU sees a flood of unwanted household items discarded by students departing on-campus housing. Revenue from the sale of these items helps fund Goodwill’s mission of providing jobs, job training, financial education, and other crucial programs for people with barriers in the DeKalb area. The donations also reflect NIU’s commitment to helping keep the community green. Donations to Goodwill are recycled and repurposed instead of going straight to the area’s landfills.
In 2013, the college collected more than 15,000 pounds of donations for Goodwill from the two donation drives, funding 2,490 hours of training to enhance the lives of people with barriers in this community. The Give and Go: Move Out 2014 donation drive began April 29 and runs through May 10 to coincide with the end of the spring semester.
“Goodwill is thrilled to have Northern Illinois University and its students take part in this donation drive,” said Sam Schmitz, president of Goodwill Industries. “The NIU donations will help provide individuals with the opportunity to experience the power and dignity of work through Goodwill’s employment programs.”
The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 3 million students live in campus housing at 2,100 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide. Each year, students leaving campus encounter storage and car trunks that can only hold so much, and often leave perfectly good clothes, electronics, books and furniture in overflowing campus dumpsters.
“This is a growing problem for DeKalb,” said Schmitz. “We know NIU students are eco-friendly and willing to do something on behalf of the planet if it’s convenient and fun. The Give and Go: Move Out donation drive is an easy clean-up solution that offers real results.”