Give and Go

"Give and Go" Student Move-Out Collection

In 2002 Bowdoin adopted an innovative waste reduction effort by setting up collection bins in each campus residence hall during final exam period to collect unwanted items from students. Items were collected, sorted out in a “department store” layout, and then sold at a giant yard sale. In just over a decade this program diverted hundreds of tons of material from the local landfill while also raising over $100,000 for local non-profits.  

After a successful 12-year run, Give and Go, Bowdoin’s giant yard sale, has entered a new phase. Starting in 2014 Bowdoin began partnering with Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, a Maine non-profit organization, to administer its annual Give and Go program. Rather than having a sale, which over the years was held on campus and at various locations around Brunswick, the goods collected from departing students at the end of the academic year are now donated to Goodwill Industries of Northern New England or used in the FreeCycle program. 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 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 where the donated items are sold.

Items not sold by Goodwill will be donated to homeless shelters, food banks, or similar organizations; other items may be prepared for material recycling.

Have questions or ideas about this year's Give & Go? Email us at