Students who want to get rid of unwanted clothing now have the option to drop them off right on campus.
GriffsGiveBack, a recently founded Missouri Western volunteering program, organized the installation of eight donation bins on campus. Six of the bins are located next to the resident halls, one by Blum Union and one by Baker Fitness, according to GriffsGiveBack Director Brent Rosenauer.
The idea of installing donation bins came to Rosenauer when he read that the average person throws away 80 pounds of clothes every year.
“It’s a simple way for people to do something, to change the world, that is really no effort to them and for the most part is unavoidable – I mean, they’re all over campus,” Rosenauer said.
Rosenauer chose the placement of the bins very consciously.
“You cannot go back to your dorm without seeing them, and that is what I wanted,” Rosenauer said.
The donation bins are provided by the non-profit organization Planet Aid. Planet Aid does not directly donate the clothing to people in need– instead, they sell it to the highest bidder.
“They take that money [from the sale] to fund a bunch of social services that they have in the United States and across the world,” Rosenauer said.
The money donations toward food and security services, poverty alleviation and non-profit teachers college in Africa, according to Rosenauer.
While Rosenauer has received positive feedback about the partnership with Planet Aid, people have also brought up concerns about the organization.
‘There’s a fringe concern with Planet Aid, and if you do research you find that fringe concern,” he said.
Rosenauer is referring to a Snopes article that reported that “[I]n a 2001 FBI memo, Danish authorities suggested Planet Aid’s funds, from government grants in addition to donated contributions, were often diverted to “personal use” by members of a controversial Danish group known as Tvind, or the Teachers Group, NBC Washington and Reveal reported.
Rosenauer said he could not find any truth to this memo in his research.
“There’s nothing I could find that they’re doing anything wrong,” Rosenauer said. “From my research, a little more than 80% of the proceeds go directly to social services […] 80% is pretty successful for a non-profit.”
The contract between Western and Planet Aid is indefinite, but the partnership can be ended by either party at any time if problems arise.
“We’ll review that annually, and if there’s any concerns from students or employees or alumni about the bins then we will revisit that,” Rosenauer said.
The bins will be emptied whenever they fill up – as often as every other day if the need should be there – a reason Rosenauer think “Planet Aid is so helpful.”
Rosenauer is looking forward to getting the program started.
“It’s just amazing that the t-shirt you’re wearing could either go to the trash or it could go to help a teacher realize his or her full potential,” Rosenauer said.