Since 1990, GIVE! Isla Vista has been hosting an annual donation drive at the end of every academic year to promote selflessness, spread awareness, and encourage students to donate their belongings to others in need. This year, the GIVE! donation site will be open from June 11 to 20–with additional donation sites set up near the University of California, Santa Barbara residence halls and university-owned apartments–and the sale will occur on June 21 and 22.
“GIVE! Isla Vista was actually founded to mitigate the environmental impact to the campus and Isla Vista communities when thousands of students move out and leave their unwanted belongings behind,” said Viviana Marsano, the GIVE! sale coordinator. “In addition, GIVE! strives to provide resources and programming that enhance the quality of life for the residents of Isla Vista.”
During the 2013 donation drive, the organization received approximately 30 tons of donated goods that could have, alternatively, been sent to a landfill, 1,300 pounds of packaged and canned food that was then donated to the AS food bank, and 325 pounds of e-waste that was collected by the AS Recycling Program. This was accompanied by the education programs installed the same year by two undergraduate students.
These students developed informational outreach programs to educate community members on the environmental impact of our actions, as well as raise awareness about the sustainable, practical actions that students can take in their own community. Through the installment of these programs, the community was given the opportunity to learn about the positive impact they were making by donating their unwanted possessions to GIVE!. This will continue during this year’s donation drive and sale.
Approximately 140 students and community members volunteer for GIVE! annually, sorting, cleaning, and displaying the donations for the sale. This 12-day process allows volunteers of all ages to bond and create lasting memories while helping the community.
“What I enjoy the most about GIVE! is how it builds community. Everybody involved, university staff, student, and local volunteers, is really invested and excited to donate their time and energy for the success of this incredible project,” said Marsano. “After working together for 12 days, many have made new friends or mentor somebody involved.”
“[GIVE!] is a quadruple win. The students don’t have to throw things away. The streets aren’t littered with stuff. The local organizations have a fundraiser when they volunteer. And, it’s the best yard sale around! It makes me proud of our community–optimistic, actually!” said Chuck Champlin, a local multi-year volunteer.
The funds raised by GIVE! sale are donated to 12 non-profits in the Isla Vista community, including the Isla Vista Youth Projects, the Isla Vista Teen Center, the Isla Vista School’s Science Camp Scholarship Fund, and the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, among others. When the sale is through, the unsold items are donated to local thrift shops.
“My hopes for this year are that we can save a lot more pounds of items from the landfill than we did last year and to raise a lot more funds to the wonderful of Isla Vista non-profits that work so hard to make our community a better place,” said Marsano. “Last year, we raised 30 percent more funds than the previous one, so this year I hope we could raise another 30 percent more.”