Faculty and staff volunteers donated their time to help the University Housing Recycling Office with its semi-annual food and clothing drive, which seeks to collect non-perishable food items and clothing from students as they prepare to move out of the UI residence halls. The items this year totaling 9,000 pounds are then donated to area charities.
"This was a united effort to give back to the community in the name of the students," said Vonne Ortiz, recycling coordinator for University Housing. "If the students would take the time to bring their items to central locations then we would deliver the materials to agencies in the community."
In addition to Goodwill, items were donated to Salvation Army, St. Jude Catholic Worker House, Empty Tomb, Eastern Illinois Food Bank, New Hope Church of God in Christ and the Greater Holy Temple Church's Faith House.
The program is possible through the volunteer efforts of UI faculty and staff members. Although the program is coordinated by the University Housing Recycling Office, Ortiz and graduate assistant Nicole Bollinger worked closely with staff members in the Illini Union Programming Department. In addition, many building service workers assisted in the collection and sorting of discarded items. After the collected items were sorted and boxed, a truck donated by the Illini Union Programming Department picked up the boxes and delivered them to area non-profit agencies.