Lehigh University’s Community Service Office begins annual move-out collection drive


The Community Service Office will begin its annual move-out collection drive today, which will run until a week before the Great South Side Sale on Saturday, June 7.

Anyone on campus who wants to donate unwanted items is encouraged to participate in the move-out collection.

Donations should be dropped off at marked locations in the different dorms. Off-campus students as well as faculty and staff are directed to drop their donations off during the day at Windish Hall, across from Rauch Business Center, where the drive is based.

Donations should be items in fair to new condition, such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, electronics, shoes, school supplies, books, toys, unopened food, unused toiletries, linens, iPods or phones.

TVs, computer monitors, mattresses or mattress pads will not be accepted. Besides that, it is encouraged that anything that could be of use to someone else and should not end up in the trash should be donated.

The event is widely run by volunteers. Student volunteers will go on rounds to pick up the donations from the different drop-offs, organize and price all donations, pack up items and put them in trucks and help with the actual sale on June 7.

Volunteers had the opportunity to sign up for entire days or even just two-hour shifts.Erika Davis, ’13, a member of the CSO, said that every single shift makes a difference. As students begin to go home, there are fewer volunteers available and more donations being made, she said.

The Great South Side Sale will take place in the parking lot on Fourth Street between Pierce and Buchanan streets. St. John’s Lutheran Church and the Bethlehem Parking Authority will offer up this space for the day, where David Joseph of Student Auxiliary Services will have a tent put up with display tables for all the items inside.

“A line starts forming as early as 7 a.m. by community members excited to be the first to enter when we open the sale at 10 a.m.,” Davis said. “By the time 10 a.m. rolls around, the line stretches all the way around the city block.”

In the first fifteen minutes of last year’s sale, CSO members and volunteers were able to count nearly 900 people entering the tent.

Volunteers at the event will tally totals and make transactions at the entrances and exits while others walk around the sale keeping things in order and managing the long line.

The event is completely community-focused, as all the items are sold at low prices to people who come from all over the community. All proceeds will go back into that same community. Clothing is sold for $1 or $2 a piece, regardless of how new or expensive it may have originally been. This allows families in the community to buy quality clothing in bulk for their entire family, many times getting clothing for the whole family for less money than one article of clothing might have cost.

At least 90 percent of the items sold are priced at $5 or less.

The proceeds will benefit the “America Reads, America Counts” program run by the CSO. This program provides in-school tutoring, as well as after-school tutoring to local elementary and middle school students.

As the CSO employs 100 work-study students and provides supplies, field trips, daily snacks, games and prizes, such efforts are also supported by the proceeds of the sale. Not only does the community benefit from the items they purchase, but the money collected goes back into the local schools for tutoring and support of South Bethlehem children.

Many families have made it a tradition to attend the sale and have expressed great appreciation for the good such events do for the community. The CSO also puts on Spring Fling in April and have had a great response from the surrounding community, so the two have become a tradition for Lehigh, as well.

Anyone interested in learning more, volunteering, or has any other general questions can send an email to [email protected].

Story by Brown and White news writer Caroline Haynie, 17.

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