Until Bowdoin's Give & Go began in 2002, it was not uncommon to see people climbing into campus dumpsters at the close of the school year. The reason for their strange behavior? The vast amount of usable stuff discarded by students in the frenzy to pack up and leave. Everything imaginable was simply tossed into a dumpster, rather than sold, donated, or recycled. Keisha Payson, coordinator for Sustainable Bowdoin, searched for a way to remedy the situation. She traveled to Bates College to view their "Dump and Run" sale, and became convinced that Bowdoin needed to follow suit. In 2002, she contacted the national Dump and Run organization, booked the Dayton Hockey Arena from May to mid-June, and began taping signs in student areas to encourage donations of usable items.
After a successful 12-year run, Give and Go, Bowdoin’s giant yard sale, is entering a new phase. The College has partnered with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, a Maine non-profit organization, to administer its 2014 Give and Go program. Rather than having a sale, which over the years was held on campus and at various locations around Brunswick, the partnership means that goods collected from departing students at the end of the academic year will be donated to Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. Students contribute many items, from clothing and electronics to furniture and household appliances.
The mission of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England is to enable those with diverse challenges to achieve personal stability and community engagement. The new partnership with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England allows the generosity of Bowdoin students to continue to benefit those in need, while at the same time utilizing Goodwill’s logistics expertise and existing retail stores in which to sell the donated items.
Items not sold by Goodwill will be donated to homeless shelters, food banks or similar organizations; other items may be prepared for material recycling.