The Great South Side Sale organized by a slew of Lehigh volunteers and held the first Saturday in June raised $16,000 – one of the highest tallies in the history of the program that began 15 years ago. All of the funds raised will support after-school homework clubs that pair Lehigh students with local schoolchildren.
The program is coordinated each year by Kim Carrell-Smith, director of the Community Fellows program and professor of practice in the history department, and Carolina Hernandez, director of Lehigh’s Community Service Office (CSO). Carrell-Smith is quick to credit the increasing number of staff, faculty and student volunteers for the success.
“Carolina and her CSO students were, as always, key supervisors/doers-of-all-work for Lehigh Moveout,” said Carrell-Smith. “What an amazing group, with truly incredible energy and positive attitudes, no matter what crisis arises. They worked the entire day of the sale and never once complained about the crowds or the long hours.
“We also had a number of administrators there, and some Lehigh divisions were key supporters, allowing us to make pure profit for the homework clubs by donating the cost of trucks, tents and tables, not to mention the Port-a-Potty,” she said.
She singled out Peggy Plympton, vice president of finance and administration, who personally volunteered and encouraged members of her stem to take time during the month of May to help sort and organize donations in Windish Hall.
“What a gift that was,” said Carrell-Smith. “And David Joseph (executive director of student auxiliary services) was just phenomenal. Not only does he pay the huge sum it costs to have our giant tent, he was at the sale the entire day, arriving to set up tables before 6 a.m., then unloaded three trucks, provided security, carried stuff to cars over the heads of the crowds, and generally was extraordinary – all with a smile on his face.”
Carrell-Smith said Joseph and student athlete Matt Lippincott ‘14 provided the “critical cleanup muscle” that helped close out the day-long event and transport any items left to local thrift shops. Joseph, Lippincott and other volunteers offered significant pre-sale support by funneling discarded items from residence halls to the sorting center. Joseph’s crew also constructed display racks, loaded and unloaded trucks and took shifts at the sale.
“On top of that,” she says, “he provided sale volunteers with free food and drink from the Fud Truck all day. He is just amazing, along with Gary Falasca (director of facilities services), Henry Odi (vice provost of academic diversity) and Sharon Basso (dean of students).
Carrell-Smith said Falasca provided the support to have three 24-foot trucks and 85 tables for the sale and Basso helped manage the crowds in the first hours of the event, when thousands of attendees vie for the best bargains. Odi provided funding for other services.
Other staffers included Vice President of Facilities Services and Campus Planning Van Dobson, who unloaded trucks and assisted with set-up, Assistant Vice President of Community and Regional Affairs Dale Kochard, who drove a truck and volunteered during the sale, and Sharon-Wiles Young, director of library access in LTS.
“We call Sharon, who is one of our long-time volunteers, the ‘Queen of Housewares’ because she oversees that area every year, and Nikki Tannenbaum (chair and professor of sociology/anthropology) the ‘Queen of Linens’ They are both incredible,” she said.
They join a growing number of Lehigh volunteers who work with key community volunteers, alums and undergrads to make up the small army of personnel needed to make the sale a success.
Most importantly, Carrell-Smith added, “They are all doing so much help our campus-community connections flourish.”
Photos by Christa Neu