When students moved out of Creighton University's Swanson Hall, they left behind microwaves, vacuums, clothes, fans, rugs and a futon.
Their dorm rooms were clean — a resident adviser saw to that — but six cages along a wall in Swanson were filled with items to be donated to Goodwill.
Swanson and eight other Creighton residence halls were part of a program called Give & Go that encouraged students to drop off items while cleaning out their dorm rooms.
Creighton is one of five universities nationwide to take part in the program, organized by Goodwill and Keep America Beautiful.
While other students played pingpong in the dorm's common room, Madeline Deitchler and Stephanie Yarbrough, both 19, left a futon, clothes and rugs for Goodwill.
“If we don't need it, it's so much better if someone else can put it to good use,” Yarbrough said. “It's nice not to have to pack everything up and take it home.”
The giveaway had an added benefit for Deitchler: She said her parents were happy she wasn't bringing the stuff home.
The women weren't quite done in their dorm, so they knew they would have more to give to Goodwill.
Many college students are committed to recycling and being green, so Goodwill officials figured that was an opportunity. Many students can't take home everything they acquired during nine months of school.
“What better than to give it to someone who can use it?” said Kris Pachunka, a spokeswoman for Goodwill in Omaha. “They've gotten a year's worth of use out of it.”
Goodwill has 15 retail stores in Omaha, and items sold there provide funding for job-training programs, which help improve the community, Pachunka said.
She added that anyone going through closets or moving to a new home can help Goodwill by donating computer equipment, clothing and household items.
“You don't realize what you have, and if you haven't used it in the last six months or a year, someone else can probably use it,” she said.
Tyler Yamata, 18, dropped off several items at Creighton's Goodwill bins. Because he is transferring to another school, he said he won't need all his dorm furniture, picture frames and lamps.
“It's really good to donate this stuff,” he said, instead of throwing it away.
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