Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Bargains galore await shoppers at the Great South Side Sale

The Great South Side Sale annually raises thousands of dollars for South Side community programs.

In the past, the organizers of the Great South Side Sale have sorted and tagged mountains of designer jeans, handbags, sunglasses, and household items discarded by departing Lehigh students.

The event, which is the outgrowth of the innovative Move-Out program that recycles these items back into the community, has enjoyed more than a decade of success, and funneled more than tens of thousands of dollars into South Side community programs for children.

This year’s sale is expected to exceed all previous successes.

“The amount and the quality of items we have this year are just incredible,” says Kim Carrell-Smith, the professor of practice in the history department, director of Lehigh’s Community Fellows program and co-organizer (with Lehigh’s Community Service Office) of the Move-Out/Great South Side Sale project.

“We have more items than ever before—literally thousands of items—that will most certainly expand beyond the 100-foot by 100-foot tent we put up for the sale,” she says. “We have probably 10 tons of clothing. We have 3,000 pairs of shoes alone—many of them brand new—that we sell for only 50 cents.”

Other items include 40 or 50 fans, nearly 30 television sets (with some large-screen models), children’s toys and clothing, furniture, more than 50 floor and desk lamps. There are also some vintage items and antiques, including sterling silver, Fiestaware and milkglass.

“And tubs—tons and tons of plastic storage tubs that students left behind,” she adds. “We have the under-the-bed types, the stacking types, the tubs with drawers—all kinds.”

Building bridges between Lehigh and its neighbors

All in all, Carrell-Smith expects the sale items to fill more than two 24-foot U-Haul trucks that will transport them from the Ulrich Student Center, where they are currently being sorted, to an empty lot on Fourth and Buchanan streets, where they will be offered to the public at drastically reduced prices.

Carolina Hernandez, director of the Community Service Office, says that project is a significant annual event that “builds real bridges between Lehigh and its South Side Bethlehem neighbors.”

“Move-Out gives back to the local community by providing much-needed dollars, which can support food donations and local homework clubs, in addition to other activities for local schoolchildren,” she says. “Plus, recycling all these useful items back into the community at very reasonable prices prevents them from ending up in landfills. It’s a win-win-win all the way around.”

The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, and is expected to raise more than $7,000 for South Bethlehem youth programs.

Through this year’s Move Out, the Community Service Office is continuing the tradition that started at Lehigh 11 years ago, 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, but that number quickly ballooned to roughly $7,000 each year.

For more information, or to volunteer to help sort items before the sale, or work during the sale, email inmove@lehigh.edu or call Brittany Powers at (610) 758-6674.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009

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