Penn State Great Valley’s sustainability committee hosted the first Career Closet and Move-In Day event on campus on Aug. 30. The campus collected a variety of donated clothes for all shapes, sizes and genders, as well as several essential living items.
“Penn State Great Valley has been a champion for the 'five Rs' approach to circularity: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle,” said Becky Stanko, conference services planner and co-chair of the sustainability committee. “In reviewing materials for the campus launch of Green Paws Level 2, we identified an opportunity to support our students and protect the planet. Through our discussions, we decided to include a ‘move-in day’ component to provide international students with much needed household supplies. This event provided a second life for donated clothing and goods, alleviated the financial burden on our students, raised funds for scholarships, and brought the community together.”
Approximately 55 new international students enrolled at Great Valley for the fall semester, and many came to the two-hour event to pick up clothes and home goods needed to begin a successful year.
The event also promoted several of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): No. 8, decent work and economic growth; No. 10, reduced inequalities; and No. 12, responsible consumption and production. By raising scholarship funds, the event also supported SDG No. 4, quality education.
After the strong response from the campus and the positive impact on students, the sustainability committee plans to hold the event annually going forward; another Career Closet and Move-In Day is already planned for Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. in the campus' Conference Center Building.
“Students benefited from both the clothing donations and the household goods,” said Karen Carli, associate director of career management services. “Due to the large selection of donated clothes, students preparing for career fairs and interviews were able to find outfits that matched their personal styles. Students also found a variety of goods to help them furnish their homes, such as cookware, tables and rugs. The smiles on their faces as they left the event reflected their gratitude and appreciation!”