COVE salvage program helps 35 local organizations

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Donated itemsA group of Colgate volunteers collected items donated or left behind by students leaving campus for the summer in a “salvage” program that benefited 35 community organizations.

Items ranged from food, kitchen utensils, and cleaning supplies to clothing, bedding, and furniture. The 73 volunteers spent more than 470 hours collecting and sorting the items for pick up by the organizations, nearly all of which are located in Madison, Onondaga, and Chenango counties.

The Office of the Chaplains started the salvage program more than a decade ago as a way of collecting unwanted clothing for local organizations. About five years ago, the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE) expanded the program’s scope.

Volunteers are now able to use the university’s Starr Rink to store and organize the items, allowing local charities to “shop” for exactly what they need and what best serves their clients.

“As the program grew and we could anticipate the types of items we would get, we started having organizations let us know what they needed so that we could be equitable with distribution,” said COVE director Krista Saleet. “Luckily, the needs of the organizations are quite diverse and we have more than enough items to go around.”

The COVE has received positive feedback from the participating groups, which include Hamilton Food Cupboard, Community Action Partnership, Madison Group Home, Bargain Basket Earlville, and Mid-York Senior Homes.

The group leaders let Saleet know how the donated items directly benefit individuals and families in need and how they all really like the idea of the items being reused instead of being sent to landfills.