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Move Out collection drive benefits South Side

Lehigh University’s annual Move Out collection drive that began last week is already netting significant results, according to its organizers. The last day for collections is Thursday, May 8.

“It’s been fabulous so far,” says Carolina Hernandez, director of the Community Service Office . “We’re at least on target or maybe even a little bit ahead of last year’s drive, which was extremely successful.”

Lisa Catullo ’07, a fifth-year student preparing to graduate this month with a master’s degree from the College of Education, says that donations of usable items are coming in from all over campus and beyond, and will eventually find their way into the South Side community.

“It’s a great program in so many ways,” says Catullo, who has been volunteering with the Community Service Office since her sophomore year. “Not only does it allow people to purchase affordable items for their families, like toys, games, movies and books – all in good condition – but it helps to raise money to benefit local non-profits geared toward children.”

Moreover, she adds, the program provides a “green” alternative to merely discarding unwanted items.

“It recycles things back into the community, which can then, in turn, fund projects like homework clubs and summer camps for local schoolchildren,” Catullo says.

Move Out, which has been viewed as a model program by other schools and universities, harvests usable items discarded by Lehigh students before they depart for the summer. Volunteers then clean, sort, tag and store items in Kenner Theatre (Ulrich Student Center), before they are sold to the community at minimal cost.

Items from this year’s collection will be sold at the Great South Side sale that is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7. Proceeds will benefit the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center.

Items accepted include clothing, furniture, rugs, household items, small appliances (including microwaves and dorm fridges), food, office supplies, cleansers, laundry detergent and other household items.

Donations will be collected in the Ulrich Student Center (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and in residence halls at designated locations in the lounge areas and near the gryphon staff offices. Off-campus pick-ups can be arranged by e-mailing inmove@lehigh.edu.

Through this year’s Move Out, the Community Service Office is continuing the tradition that started 10 years ago at Lehigh, when Professors John Smith and Kim Carrell-Smith noticed the vast number of usable items being discarded. That initial drive netted $500 for the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center. Now, on average, the Great South Side Sale raises more than $7,000.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact the Community Service Office at (610) 758-6674, or e-mail inmove@lehigh.edu.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Monday, May 05, 2008

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