Move-Out Initiative Turns Trash Into Treasure

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Students moving out of the dorms and out of their off-campus homes are helping needy local families by donating unwanted goods instead of throwing them away.

As students are packing up and leaving Athens, Ohio University and a number of city and county groups are teaming up to make a student's trash someone else's treasure. 
The purpose of the collaboration is to reduce trash in landfills and save needy residents money, in addition to holding a donation drive at the Athens County Fairgrounds.
"It's such an eye-opening, inspirational experience to see all the hard work from the volunteers handing out free food, clothing, whatever the residents need," said Larry Lawson, Move-Out Initiative director.
The Move-out Initiative collected more than 174 tons of food last year.  The organization also collected clothing, furniture and other reusable items helping more than 1,200 local families.
One of the organizations involved is Friends and Neighbors located in Coolville
'It allows us to help hundreds of families, literally hundreds of families are helped by this," said Lisa Roberts, director of the Friends and Neighbors Community Choice Food Center.
"The Friends and Neighbors organization has a stand set up right next to a dumpster on Court Street to prevent people from throwing away items the center could put to use.
The non-profit groups hope to double the amount of goods received this year with more awareness in the community and by doing door-to-door collections.
"Instead of them having to come to us, we're going to them to prevent them from throwing out things that could be used and to let them know that were here to help," explained Lawson.
There are eight drop-off locations around Athens or the groups can directly pick up items from a home.
People in need of food, furniture, clothing or other household items can go to the Athens County Fairgrounds through Sunday and select items that students have donated.