|Please give a short description of the program:|
In order to have the donations be more organized this year,
Michael wanted to get large, reusable plastic storage bins for
students to place their donated items. In previous years, there
were general donation boxes set out, but those filled up too fast
and it took much longer to sort through the donations. Thus in
early March, Michael submitted a funding proposal to the campus
housing funding board to purchase the bins for the service event.
It was done early in order to allow time for the approval as well
as purchasing and shipment of the bins.
In April, Michael created the messaging that all of the RAs would
share with residents during the Closing Information Floor
Meetings. Michael also began posting flyers to help ensure that
residents knew all of the items that they could donate. Michael
had worked with the Faculty in Residence to be able to use the
community office to store the items as the donation bins got full.
On May 1, Michael set the donation bins out in a nice display for
residents to see. There were bins for hangers, men's clothing,
women's clothing, linens (bed sheets, towels, comforters, etc.),
shoes, decorating materials (push pins, nails, etc.), and small
electronics. Two more bins were added at the request of residents
for nonperishable food and school supplies. Signs were posted
that said "Donation Station" with a quick instruction sheet and
who to contact with questions. Michael had worked out with the RA
staff to help monitor the donation station. During their closing
checkout shifts, the RAs would help bag up items as the bins got
full and take the bags to the FIR office. In previous years,
residents had thrown in random trash to the donation boxes, but
thankfully this was not a problem this year. Only reusable items
were placed in the bins.
The final piece of the event was that the team worked to ensure
that all donations were sorted properly as the FIR office
continued to get fuller with donations. The donations were
distributed to three different charities: Salvation Army, Genesis
Women's Shelter, and a foster care connection. The latter was an
added bonus as we found out during the donation drive that a staff
member was connected to a family that fosters children that often
arrive with just a small trash bag of belongings and often only
one set of clothes.
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|Positive and lasting effects of the program:|
The most positive effect was the sheer volume of donations with
almost 40 bags of donated items. It was the most successful
donation drive to date for not just Loyd, but any of the
residential communities at SMU. Most communities choose not to do
a donation drive because they see it as too much work. Because
other communities saw how successful the Loyd Donation Drive was
going, they asked if they could add in donations from their own
residents as well. Three other communities added to the 40 bags of
While SMU brings Goodwill Industries on campus during closing,
most students do not take their belongings to the trucks because
the trash dumpsters are closer to their buildings. Having the
donation drive easily accessible to students in the 1st floor
lounge, it made it easy for residents to drop their donations in
the proper bin instead of just throwing it away.
The RA staff saw how manageable the event was with the labeled
bins. Now it is an event they are looking forward to doing again
instead of something they dread about the possibility of having to
do. They have discussed doing a small donation in December as
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|Short evaluation of the program:|
Everything went very well for the donation drive and after
reviewing the process, there were only a few areas that the team
would do differently for the next round. The use of labeled bins
was a great decision as it helped keep all of the items sorted in
an organized fashion. Additional bins were already procured to
have extra for next year.
For changes, because the donated bedding such as comforters took
up more space, we may get larger boxes to accommodate the amount
of bedding that was donated. There were several requests as well
for large furniture donation such as futons. We were unable to
take large furniture this year as we did not have a space to store
the items temporarily - we would have had about 10 futons to hold
for the donation trucks. We hope to have a better solution for
larger pieces of furniture as well.
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|How could this program be adapted to other campuses?|
Many campuses do similar donation drives, but here are a few tips
to consider when organizing your own donation drive.
1. Make sure to monitor the donations to keep it from overflowing.
Have a space set aside where items can be stored through the end
2. Select a charity for your donations that suits your needs and
matches the values of your community. Even though Salvation Army
may not 100% match the values of our community, we chose to use
them because of the volume of donations and that they pick up
directly from us.
3. Having separate bins for different types of donations was
hugely helpful. You do not need plastic bins - we have used large
re-purposed cardboard boxes in previous years, which also works
4. We recognize that not all institutions and charities are able
to accept all types of donations - as some may only accept
clothing for example. We encourage you to still collect items that
could be used by next years residents instead of letting residents
throw away usable items. We plan to have leftover school supplies
available for next years residents during opening.
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