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. They’re almost finished preparing for the annual event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, at Fourth and Buchanan streets.
The event—the outgrowth of the Move-Out program that recycles used items back into the community—has enjoyed more than a decade of success, and funneled tens of thousands of dollars into programs for South Side kids.
“The amount and quality of items this year are just incredible,” says Carolina Hernandez, director of Lehigh’s Community Service Office, which coordinates the Move-Out collection drive and the Great Southside Sale.
“We have over 20 tons of terrific reusable stuff—ranging from flat-screen TVs to designer clothes—that we sell at really, really low prices.”
The sale, says Hernandez, is a win-win situation for shoppers and the South Side. Proceeds benefit after-school homework clubs that the Community Service Office picked up after the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center closed last year. Food, cleaning supplies and other items will replenish local food banks. School supplies will be donated to the homework clubs.
Microwaves, fridges and lamps, designer clothes, TVs and more
This year’s sale continues a Lehigh tradition that started 12 years ago, when husband-and-wife history professors John K. Smith and Kim Carrell-Smith noticed the vast number of usable items discarded by students at the end of the spring semester. In its first year, the sale raised $500. Last year, it generated $11,000, thanks to student, faculty, staff and community volunteers.
The two professors still work many hours to prepare the sale, and, says Carrell-Smith, they continue to be amazed at the generosity of Lehigh students.
“We have mountains of clothing—much of it designer and lots with tags still on. We have small appliances from microwaves to dorm fridges, a countertop dishwasher, oodles of lamps, hairdryers, irons, etc. We have 35 TVs—ranging from 36-inch screen to 12 inch, from flat screen to old style.”
Other items include household linens, rugs, children’s toys and clothing, books, furniture, hundreds of purses, luggage and various kitchen and household items.
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 being sorted, to an empty lot on Fourth and Buchanan streets, where they will be sold at drastically reduced prices.
Hernandez says the sale “builds real bridges between Lehigh and its South Side Bethlehem neighbors.
“Move-Out gives back to the community by providing much-needed dollars for food donations, homework clubs and activities for local schoolchildren. Plus, recycling all these items back into the community prevents them from ending up in landfills. It’s a win-win-win all the way around.”
Hernandez and Carrell-Smith hope to raise more than $10,000 for the South Bethlehem homework clubs.
For more information, or to volunteer to help sort items before the sale, or work during the sale, contact Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or x85445.
Story by Bill Doherty
Posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010