UNI students give back as they move out

Students making Panther Pick-up DonationsDuring the University of Northern Iowa's second-annual Panther Pick Up UNI students donated 11,340 pounds of usable household goods to local charitable organizations.

Panther Pick Up gives old stuff a new life at a time when many UNI students are moving out of residence halls and apartments. Instead of throwing unwanted household items in the dumpster to end up in the landfill, students donated useable items to St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa and The Salvation Army, which had pick-up sites at convenient locations on and near campus.

"Instead of tossing unwanted items, students living in both residence halls and off-campus housing could give away materials in usable condition," said Susan Salterberg, Panther Pick Up chair and program manager for UNI's Center for Energy and Environmental Education. "This is good for community members in need and the environment."

During last year's Panther Pick Up, students donated 6,700 pounds of clothing, dishes, furniture, carpet and other useable household items. Salterberg attributes the increase in 2010 to growing awareness of the program.

"By next year's Panther Pick Up, we'll have juniors who have donated their unwanted items every year they've been at UNI," she said. "By the time they're seniors, UNI students will recognize Panther Pick Up as a traditional part of another year's end."