Until Bowdoin's Give & Go began in 2002, it was not uncommon to see people climbing into campus dumpsters at the close of theschool 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.
One of the most difficult problems with the first Bowdoin Give & Go was finding enough volunteers to collect and sort sale items. Payson put an advertisement in the local newspaper, but a small response forced her to call local non-profits to inquire about volunteers. However, the volunteer hours and sale profits have skyrocketed since the first year. In 2002,volunteers totaled 625 hours, and Dump and Run made $11,785. The amount earned has improved every year, with sale profits reaching upwards of $50,000 ten years later. This increase grants more money to the organizations that volunteer. The sale's wild success has allowed word to spread throughout the community,generating more and more interest. Now, instead of desparetly searching for volunteers, sale organizers actually limit the number of hours each organization can volunteer in order to make room for the increase in participants.
Contact Give and Go Coordinator Valerie Szewelanczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.