Give It Up! is a program that enables students to donate their unwanted items at move-out time to local charities and non-profits, benefiting the local community and reducing waste at the same time.
The program, led by the Center for Learning in Action, takes place from the beginning of Reading Period in mid-May through Commencement in early June. Large pods are placed in front of student dorms so students moving out can donate items instead of throwing them out. The success of this program also greatly depends on student employees, as they sort, transport, and deliver donated clothing, books, food, and other items that would otherwise head to landfills.
Check back in May for updated information about the Give It Up! pods.
Give it Up! is led by the Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) and supported by the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, Facilities which pays for the storage pods, Campus Safety & Security (CSS) which provides logistical support, the Office for Information Technology (OIT), and Alumni Reunions which assigns Reunion Rangers to assist with the intense move-out period on Commencement Day.
The program creates multiple simultaneous wins for the college, students, community, and environment. Give it Up! helps reduce the volume of items left in the dorms and the amount of waste generated during the move-out process by giving students a convenient way to donate their belongings, all while financially benefiting local nonprofits. Because many of the donated items are sold in the clothing and tag sales at the First Congregational Church in the fall, Give it Up! also benefits incoming Williams students during the move-in process in the fall, offering students and community members access to useful items at very affordable prices.
TIP: Donate as early as possible to minimize stress while moving out! (The following info will be updated for 2023 in May)
- Check the deployment and clean-out schedule here, to find the pod most convenient for your use.
- Look for the logo, which will be on a white Connors Bros storage pod.
- Leave your donation items in the pod, or find a Give it Up! volunteer if you need assistance!
For the end of the 2021-2022 academic school year, students will be able to donate to the pods located through the following dates in the following areas:
Saturday, May 14th – Sunday, June 5th
- Dodd Circle
- Greylock Quad
- Currier Quad
Saturday, May 14th – Wednesday, May 25th
- Frosh Quad
- Mission Park
Tuesday, May 17th – Sunday, June 5th
- Horn Hall
Saturday, May 28th – Sunday, June 5th
- Poker Flats
- School supplies
- Unopened food and drink
- Household items, furniture, microwaves and fridges
- Clothes, shoes, footwear
- Printers, TVs, laptops, computer accessories (in any condition)
- Sports equipment
- Musical instruments
- Bedding, towels
- Body care products
- Detergent, dryer sheets, cleaning supplies
- Flower/plant pots or containers
- Foam mattress toppers
- Course packets (recycle these!)
- Bed pillows in bad condition
- Broken items and trash
- Open or perishable food (give to your friends!)
The donated books are sold to the Williams Bookstore and Better World Books for resale or recycling, with sales proceeds benefiting Nyanam International (previously Konyango KCBO) in Kenya, an NGO founded by recent Williams alumni to prepare widows to lead positive social changes in their communities through leadership development, economic empowerment, and community engagement.
Clothing and fabrics are given to the ABC Clothing Sale, which donates its profits to local charitable and non-profit organizations, including the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Louison House, Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, and the Williamstown Food Pantry. Its mission is to benefit local charitable organizations that serve youth and families at risk and address hunger, poverty, and inequality in our communities, as well as the environment by recycling gently worn clothing. Look for the ABC Clothing Sale on campus in the spring!
Food is sent to the Williamstown Food Pantry, which is based out of St. Patrick’s Church in Williamstown. The pantry serves the local population in need.
Everything else is sent to the First Congregational Church of Williamstown (FCC) for their beginning-of-the-school-year Tag Sale. The sale keeps used goods circulating in the community, and raises money for the church in its largest fundraiser of the year.
In a typical year, donations from the GIU collection contribute substantially to the late summer and early fall FCC Tag Sale and ABC Clothing Sales results. The ABC Clothing Sale typically generates at least $50,000 in sales proceeds to benefit a range of local charitable and nonprofit organizations, and sales proceeds from the FCC Tag Sale support the church's Outreach Team and their projects, including financial support for a variety of local nonprofit and social service organizations and volunteer initiatives. Past recipients of funding from sales proceeds have included Barrington Stage Company (Playwright Mentoring Program), Berkshire Immigrant Center, Berkshire Summer Youth Internship Program, Community Legal Aid, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Friendship Center Food Pantry, Kids 4 Harmony (Brayton Elementary School), Louison House, Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, Northern Berkshire YMCA, ROOTS Teen Center, Williamstown Farmers Market, Williamstown Food Pantry, and YMCA Summer Swim and 8th Grade Mentoring Programs, among others.
Due to ongoing health concerns and restrictions, the large-scale FCC Tag Sale and ABC Clothing Sale were not held in September 2020. With support from Williams, the ABC Clothing Sale opened a pop-up shop on Spring Street in order to continue collecting donations and selling clothing throughout the Spring 2021 semester. As a result of the limited sales opportunities, there is no current data available regarding the value of donated goods or beneficiary organizations of the sales proceeds, but we look forward to updating this information for the 2021-22 academic year in the near future!
During the Spring 2021 collection, Give it Up! collected and packed 66 boxes of donated books, five of which were donated to the Berkshire County House of Correction, and 61 sent to Better World Books. While the volume was less than that of recent pre-COVID years and sales data and environmental impact metrics are incomplete, the books sold or recycled by Better World Books between May 2020 and November 2021 (most of which were shipped in June 2021) have so far raised over $650 for Nyanam International, and have collected and saved the following totals through recycled/post-consumer fiber production:● Over 1,500 books (~2,100 lbs)● 24 trees● Over 3,200 lbs of methane and greenhouse gas● Over 15,000 gallons of water● 3 cubic yards of landfill space● Over 5,000 kWh of electricity