Dump and Run Offers Ferris Students, Community an Opportunity to Help Others

Dump and RunFerris State University students with too much stuff to move home for the summer can recycle and contribute to a good cause at the same time.

Dump and Run, a campus- and community-wide initiative organized by Immanuel Lutheran Church of Big Rapids, kicks off Monday, April 30 and runs through Saturday, May 5. Volunteers can sign up now to help pick up and sort donations.

Last year, students and community residents contributed nearly 2,000 items of non-perishable food and snacks, nearly 2,000 items of gently-used clothing and shoes, and hundreds of items of bedding, cleaning supplies, school supplies and more. More than 29,000 items have been donated and distributed during the event’s five-year run.

“This is a very gratifying project to work on when you see all the items of non-perishable food, clothing, shoes, cleaning supplies, school supplies and bedding that would otherwise be thrown out, but instead are used by members of the community,” said Marianne Wolken, event coordinator for Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Receptacles will be placed in 17 residence halls on campus to collect donations. Volunteers will pick them up and take them to Masselink Hall, where clothing and shoes will be sorted by size and food by type. Students who live off campus and members of the community are encouraged to bring their donations to the lobby in Masselink Hall between 1 and 5 p.m. during the duration of the event.

At the end of the week, food will be distributed to area food pantries, including Manna Pantry, Project Starburst and the American Legion of Morley-Stanwood; clothing will be given to charitable organizations, including W.I.S.E., Project Starburst and Big Brothers Big Sisters; and bedding is given to Eagle Village and Love, Inc. Sheets, towels and blankets that are stained will be given to local animal shelters for the animals’ bedding.

Volunteers are needed to help pick up items from the residence halls and transport them to Masselink Hall, and to sort. To learn more, donate goods or to volunteer, please call Wolken at (231) 972-7756 or email her at marianne.wolken@yahoo.com.

“I definitely want volunteers to sign up – not just show up,” Wolken said. “I think there’s nothing more disappointing than to volunteer and then not be used.”

Wolken acknowledged that students are busy in the spring with final exams, but “we welcome their participation.”

New Journey Clubhouse, a local organization for young adults with disabilities, helps in the volunteer effort.

Jon Shaffer, director of Ferris’ Office of Housing and Residence Life, said the Dump and Run program “is a great way for students to have a meaningful impact on the community they’re leaving behind for the summer.”

“Seeing the good this program does in our community is all the incentive our office needs to promote this program with our residents,” Shaffer said. “Personally, I am very pleased to know these items are getting a second life rather than just filling landfills and that our students are doing their part to keep West Michigan as beautiful as possible.”

Last updated: 07-24-2012