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Waste Not, Want Not

Items available at the 2018 Free Store
April 30, 2019

UMD collecting items for second-annual Free Store.

As the school year winds down, collection bins in UMD’s residence halls are filling up. Bulldogs are donating goods they no longer want to UMD’s second-annual Free Store– which provides incoming students with the supplies they need in a way that reduces waste.

Items like area rugs, bedding, microwaves, mirrors, storage units, dishes, school supplies, and fans are being collected Friday, April 26 through the end of finals week, May 10, 2019, in the lobbies of UMD’s residence halls and apartments. Current students place their goods into the donation bins and a team collects the items and sorts them for the Free Store.

Housing and Residence Life’s Amanda Perrin is working on the project, after noticing students leaving large amounts of items behind when they moved out. “This serves so many purposes,” she says. “We’re providing access to items that students need and reducing waste, but most importantly the Free Store builds community and connection to our campus from day one.”

People lined up for the 2018 Free Store

People lined up for the 2018 Free Store

Last year was the first time that UMD offered the Free Store, and more than 300 shoppers were given 1-thousand items. The International Student Services Department, in particular, was able to find things for their students’ dorms and apartments. “There’s no way you can fit everything you need into a suitcase or two when you’re traveling to Duluth from another country,” says Emily Drevlow, International Student Services coordinator.

The items being collected now will be offered to all UMD students on Move-In Day on August 22, with international students getting a sneak preview a week earlier.

The Free Store is supported by UMD’s Housing and Residence Life, the Office of Sustainability, International Student Services, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UMD Stores, and the Office of Student Life.