United Way accepts donations of used residence hall items

Melody Wachowski

Where do 30 tons of old futons, couches, carpets and other miscellaneous items go after students move out of the residence halls?

Much of it goes to United Way’s County Clothing Center of Portage County.

The center takes donations of unwanted items, ranging from clothing to kitchen tables, 24 hours a day. Individuals and families can come to the center and pick up items they need at no charge.

Program manager Candy Pollard is the only paid employee of the organization, which has more than 400 volunteers. In the past couple months the County Clothing Center has helped approximately 8,800 people, Pollard said.

“Anyone from any area can come in and collect items they need,” Pollard said. “The dorms participate in a program called Throw and Go every year, which brings in massive amounts of useable items.”

Shari Humm, a volunteer at the center, said the donations help Kent State students from abroad as well.

“Some students come from halfway around the world with just one suitcase, and they can come in and get clothing and school supplies for the rest of the year,” Humm said.

The organization also has large items such as beds, tables and couches to help homeless people move into apartments, she said.

“We get tons of carpeting,” Pollard said, “which is great because many people are living in places that only have concrete floors.”

Reusing items also has a significant impact on reducing the amount of waste in the area, she said.

“Can you imagine if there were 30 extra tons of futons and carpets put into the waste system?” she said.

The establishment also offers a Halloween shop, a formal shop and a Christmas shop, where children 10 and under can shop for three free items.

“Students provide a lot of the formal attire, and students can also come in a get formal attire if they simply don’t want to foot the bill for a new dress and accessories,” Pollard said.

“Some girls just wouldn’t be caught dead in the same dress twice, which is great for us because we can always use formal attire donations.”

Danielle Cordes, junior sports administration major, has worked at the Tri-Towers area desk for the past two years and recalled the large amount of things students have given away.

“Sometimes students scrounge through the things before they get picked up, but there is so much of it that the community still benefits from the donations,” Cordes said.

“Some students just don’t want to take all of the things they accumulated over the year back home with them,” she said. “They just don’t realize they have so much stuff, and it is mostly nice stuff too.”

Contact social services reporter Melody Wachowski [email protected].