What good could possibly come from a messy college student’s room? A lot, it turns out.
Lindenwood University-Belleville will turn all that clutter left behind after students graduate or leave for the summer into help for area charity Moms on a Mission.
“We have a very diverse student population,” Lindenwood-Belleville Dean of Students Angela Wingo-Rust said. “Because of that, a lot of our students find it easier to throw away a lot of their things instead of hauling them half way across the country back home — or, in some cases, to a different country.
They leave behind clothes, appliances, furniture, electronics and anything else you might expect in a young person’s apartment.
“We get tons of bedding,” Wingo-Rust said. “Sheets, blankets. ... All of it in excellent condition.”
Lindenwood initially kept items left behind by students and made them available to future students who needed help with clothes or furnishings in their residence. Wingo said a few things will still be kept for that purpose. But as the number of resident students increased over the last few years, so did the amount of stuff they left behind at the end of the school year. So school leaders decided to reach into the community and pick a different charity every year.
McKendree University in Lebanon and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville also collected students’ unneeded belongings each year and give them to charity as well.
Dawn Hosna, founder and president of Moms on a Mission, said the donated items will help hundreds of people.
“We serve about 200 people on a weekly basis,” Hosna said. “They’re our homeless friends, veterans, senior citizens. ... We help anyone we can.”
We serve about 200 people on a weekly basis,” Hosna said. “They’re our homeless friends, veterans, senior citizens. ... We help anyone we can.
Dawn, Hosna, founder and president of Moms on a Mission
Usually the Dupo-based charity gets a few items at a time from people who are cleaning out their closets or who have leftovers after a yard sale.
“They trickle in a few items at a time,” Hosna said. “So the donation from the school will help us a whole lot.”
Hosna said much of the furniture that is collected will go to foster kids who have become too old to be adopted.
“They have to go out on their own for the first time and they don’t have family to help them find furniture and the things they need to get started out,” Hosna said.
While a lot of donations to the charity are well-worn clothes or other items that don’t have a lot of use left in them, the items from the school are nearly new in some cases. Students buy it when they arrive and at the end of the school year, they just don’t need it anymore.
Matthew Ervin, a senior from Coulterville who will graduate Sunday with a degree in biology, sorted through the items taken in so far earlier this week.
“There’s a lot of good stuff in here,” Ervin said. “Some nice shirts and some really nice shoes.”
Senior Keyairis Henry, who will graduate Sunday with a degree in communications, said she is glad to see the items she won’t need any longer go to a good cause.
“I’m all about reduce, recycle, reuse,” Henry said. “Hopefully, the things we’re donating will help someone who can really use them.”
For information about how to donation to Moms on a Mission, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.