Discourse / Letters / May 12, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Things we should now know about the year-end clothing drives at Knox

Every year towards the end of the spring term, you may be aware of the cardboard boxes in different residential halls with posted flyers that advertise for clothing drives. Yet you may not know how long the clothing drives have been at Knox.

I was surprised when I found out that Sue Hulett, professor of Political Science, started the project in 1989.

In past years, she has worked with student groups including Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Gentlemen of Quality and RAs, as well as students from her spring term classes. She borrows a van from a friend or from Bethel Baptist Church to transport donations.

Custodians and campus security are also a great help in the pick-up process as they allow the accumulation of the donations in the residential halls and let the volunteers into different residential areas.

As a team, Sue and five to six volunteers put out the boxes with flyers in the last week of spring term. Then, they gather the clothes and miscellaneous goods and transport them to the organizations including the Rescue Mission, Goodwill, St. Mary’s Square and Salvation Army. The team picks up and distributes the materials three to four times during finals week as well as senior week. Every year there are as many as five van loads of donations.

“Picking up the donations is a great exercise. It’s sweaty work, yet it’s the kind of activity where you get a tangible good feeling, especially when you see hundreds of bags of material going to different relief organizations instead of being thrown in the trash.” Sue said. Therefore, it’s important for the students to be educated in different ways to avoid wasteful behavior.

This year, Sue, the Sustainability Community and some students are cooperating to plan for the clothing drives. We hope to improve the advertising of the project, educate students, expand the variety of items collected and start keeping a record on the amount of donations gathered.

Keep your eyes open, as more information about these collections will be posted in coming weeks. Be creative about what you can do with your unwanted items when your turn for leaving Knox comes.

For more information or if you want to help with pick-ups (or to volunteer your help), please contact Sue Hulett at lhulett@knox.edu or Po Ling Chan at pchan@knox.edu.

Po Ling Chan

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