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San Marcos community invited to join 'Pack It Up and Pass It On'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 15, 2015

The San Marcos community is invited to donate gently used items during Texas State University’s 14th annual Pack It Up and Pass It On "green" move out program that diverts more than seven tons of items from area landfills to benefit low-income residents.

Community members can bring their unwanted items in good condition to the LBJ Student Center Ballroom May 18 through May 21 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., or call (512) 245-9645 to make arrangements for earlier delivery to a storage POD on campus.

"It’s true recycling. Pack It Up and Pass It On matches unwanted items that students normally throw away at the end of the semester with local low-income citizens who can use them," said Community Relations director Kim Porterfield.

"Reuse" is the least-known and practiced form of the three R’s: Recycle, Reduce and Reuse, Porterfield said.  "Many folks recycle paper, cans and bottles, but Pack It Up and Pass It On focuses on 'reuse' of items."

San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero praised the work at a recent proclamation presentation.

"This important program diverts about seven tons of items from area landfills and passes along student-donated clothing, appliances, electronics, shoes, books, carpets, furniture, and office supplies to more than 1,000 low-income San Marcos residents," he said.

Volunteers are the backbone of the initative.

“Dozens of students, faculty, staff and community volunteers are spending more than 200 hours collecting, sorting and organizing the donations that come from 24 residence halls and several off-campus locations, filling seven 16-foot storage PODS,” Porterfield said.

Community members can also get involved by volunteering for the event. Volunteers help sort the collected items in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom, which is set up into a giant "garage sale" atmosphere where United Way of Hays County partner agency clients, low-income San Marcos CISD families and other non-profit clients can "shop" for a $3 admission fee. Tickets to the event are distributed by local non-profit agencies, not the university.

Collection barrels are placed in each of the 24 residence halls and university apartment complexes. Texas State students donate clothes, shoes, books, carpets, linens, kitchen items or anything else reusable and in good condition until final move-out.

This year, the program received a boost from the Texas State Environmental Service Committee, which awarded a grant to pay for student wages, an additional storage POD, and video documentation of the event.

"We appreciate the support of the Environmental Service Committee and other partners," Porterfield said.

Local business are also invited to send employee groups to help with sorting Monday, May 18 through Thursday, May 21 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on Friday, May 22 at 6 a.m. for the distribution.

"This is an easy way for businesses to support sustainable efforts and assist low-income local families," Porterfield said.

Also this year, a pilot program is expanding donation collection to off-campus student housing complexes, thanks to a partnership with the City of San Marcos’ Keep San Marcos Beautiful Program.

"We hope to show that by working together, we can reduce the waste stream from off-campus student housing and increase donations to families that really need them," said Porterfield.

Participating multi-family properties include Iconic Village Apartments, Vintage Pads and Heights II.

To volunteer for Pack It Up and Pass It On, contact Texas State Community Relations at (512)-245-9645 or communtyrelations@txstate.edu.