Share Our Stuff (SOS) is Washington University in St. Louis’s annual move-out donation drive. Each year during on- and off-campus move-out, our campus community is responsible for the disposal of a tremendous amount of usable goods. These goods can be reused by people in need within our campus community and throughout our surrounding neighborhoods. Share Our Stuff is a university-wide effort designed to make it easy for all students to donate their unwanted items at move out in a manner that benefits our community and keeps usable goods out of the landfill.
What to Donate
Each Share Our Stuff collection site has bins for specific items, each bin designated by a sign. Bins include:
- Appliances and electronics
- Clean clothing and linens
- Unopened, nonperishable food
- Office supplies
- Furniture and furnishings
When to Donate
Share Our Stuff runs from May 11-14, 2016. Lightening Your Load, the off-campus major donation event, will take place Saturday, May 21. See below for details.
Where to Donate
Collection locations are located on the 1st floor or basement of every dorm, fraternity, and on-campus apartment.
Students living in off-campus Residential Life housing can leave their donations in the basement of their building. Graduating seniors and others should plan to donate their goods during the Lightening Your Load (LYL) donate drive on Saturday, May 21. A Goodwill truck will be stationed at the Academy Building parking lot at the Corner of University Drive and Melville Avenue. Stop by to donate your items. In addition, a MERS/Goodwill truck and Quadrangle Housing truck will be circulating to pick up curb-side donations along University Drive and Washington Avenue, as well as the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood. If you move out after the LYL event, you can donate your items to area MERS/Goodwill stores at a number of convenient drop-off locations.
How to Help
Consider volunteering with SWAP to collect move-out donations. Last year SWAP diverted over 9,000 pounds of items and they want to do even better this year! All proceeds from the SWAP sale next semester will be used to sustain the Trading Post on-campus freecycle store so that it remains FREE for everyone!
Who Will Benefit
MERS/Goodwill is a St. Louis based not-for-profit association that in 2012 assisted over 48,000 clients in the bistate area. The agency provides job-training and employment services to individuals who have barriers to employment through disability or economic disadvantage. MERS/Goodwill is committed to reuse and recycling of all useable materials, primarily through resale at Goodwill retail stores. Revenue from Goodwill stores provides funding for MERS/Goodwill services.
Operation Food Search
Established in 1981 to tackle the growing problem of hunger, Operation Food Search is a St. Louis-area food bank that distributes food free of charge to feed the poor and hungry. Each month, Operation Food Search distributes more than two million pounds of food and necessities to 265 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters in 31 counties of Missouri and Illinois. Operation Food Search feeds approximately 120,000 people every single month, and nearly half of these recipients are children.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today’s most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.
Sharing with a Purpose / Trading Post
The Mission of the Sharing With A Purpose (SWAP) is to bridge the gap between social justice and sustainability by empowering people to share resources. We aim to meet the needs identified by diverse communities through modes of collaborative consumption such as free markets, borrowing and barter networks, skill shares, and other efforts that reduce waste by making existing resources available for new use. We advocate for shared power and decision making in all actions, the open exchange of knowledge-based resources, and personal accountability for the well-being of others and of the earth.
The Washington University Campus Y is a student-centered organization that provides community service opportunities in 25 student-led programs. Their mission is to develop ethical leaders of exemplary character by applying the principles of the YMCA of Greater St. Louis in partnership with Washington University. In the 2008-09 academic year, 847 students participated in 25 student-led community service programs providing 49,847 hours of service to 10,780 people locally, nationally and internationally in over 30 agencies. The estimated economic impact of these service programs in this year alone was $1,009,401. The Campus Y has been engaging Washington University students in meaningful service for almost 100 years.
Many campus partners make the Share Our Stuff drive a success each year, including Residential Life, Quadrangle Housing, Facilities Planning and Management, Environmental Health and Safety, the Community Service Office and the Office of Government and Community Relations and Sharing With A Purpose (SWAP), which runs the on-campus student free-store, the Trading Post, collects and stores a broad range of usable items. SWAP resells the high quality second-hand items each fall to support the ongoing operations of the Trading Post.