James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Donated lamps, microwaves, bath rugs and even couches piled up on the Connecticut College campus as students moved out of their residence houses at the end of the semester. Destined for local United Way agencies that provide shelter and services for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse, the gently-used items were collected as part of the College’s popular Spring Give 'n' Go program.
The program was launched in 2010 and is now a major spring project run by the College’s sustainability and residential education and living offices. Students donate items they no longer need or can’t transport home, and the College invites several local agencies, including Safe Futures (formerly the Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut), Southeastern Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SCADD), Covenant Shelter and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, to take what they need for their clients. Any remaining items are donated to the Salvation Army.
This year, more than five tons of goods were donated.
“Not only are we providing an alternative waste stream for the campus during a time of heavy traffic, we are giving back to the local community in a way that promotes civic responsibility,” said Colleen Bunn, an area coordinator in the Office of Residential Education and Living and adviser for the College’s Women’s Center. “These household items are taken for granted every day, but for victims of domestic violence and homelessness, they are a reminder of normalcy.”
Susan Noyes, the community resources coordinator for Safe Futures, said the donations help her organization make residential units more welcoming and comfortable for victims of domestic violence and their families.
“An area rug for young children rather than a worn tile floor, a lamp for homework in a child's room where only a single fluorescent light shines above, clothing and shoes for those who have nothing – these are a few examples of the little differences that mean so much,” Noyes said.
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