SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- At the end of each school year, college students move out of their dorms, apartments or rental homes and often have belongings they no longer want or need.
Dorms at Missouri State University provided bins for students to drop off those items. The goal is to promote the university's sustainability initiative while contributing to the local community.
"I think it's a good way to give back to the community that supported me throughout my college career," says student Kimbrely Elsing, who is graduating Friday. She's moving out of her dorm and donating the things she no longer needs. "Bedding and books and things like that I'm not going to use anymore."
"That way it allows us to prevent the number of items going into the landfill and also extend the lifespan of these usable items that the students no longer want but others might be able to use," says Teresa Frederick, Interim Assistant Director of Residence Life at MSU. "I think that's a great opportunity for them to engage with their community."
She says it's not only a win for students, but for nearby charities.
"They're very appreciative of what we're able to offer. It helps their programs continue to exist."
"Almost everybody that comes in to get something, whether it be just a blanket or a backpack to a couch, a bed, a fridge, freezer -- they're almost all grateful," says Justin Szalla, a volunteer at Fresh Start, the receiving and distributing location for all non-food donations for The Kitchen. "From food, to dishes, to rugs, clothing, furniture -- you name it, we get it."
The Kitchen provides Missouri State with collection containers and picks up the unwanted items twice a day for a week.
"Instead of taking it home and setting it in their basement, they can donate it and it can get like a second life," adds Elsing.
"Fresh start is a blessing," adds Szalla. "The Kitchen is a blessing, and we're just here to help."
This service benefits local charities like The Kitchen and friends of Abilities First, and is available through Saturday, May 18. If you have unwanted items, you can drop them off directly at the local charities locations, but students who are not living in residence halls are encouraged to take advantage of the on-campus location as well.