Students will get a chance to save money on clothes and help the environment by getting involved in the University of Oregon Student Sustainability Center’s Free Store next week.
The center is partnering with the InterVarsity ministry group at Northwestern Christian University to host a clothing donation store Room 005 in the Erb Memorial Union on March 5, 6 and 7.
Zaida Hatfield, cultural sustainability coordinator at the center, is organizing the event as well as a number of other events aimed at providing affordable opportunities for students in need to get things like books, clothing and school supplies.
“I think it’s really important that our university takes steps to ensure that students feel like they belong here and that money isn’t something to hold us back,” Hatfield said. “We are hoping to go around residence halls or have a permanent bin so that students can skip the Goodwill trip.”
While many of the resources at the store next week will be donated from the InterVarsity community at NCU, Hatfield plans to connect with fraternities, sororities, residence halls, professors and other UO community groups to spread the word about the new donation opportunity for future store openings.
The store will open again during Earth Week at the end of April. Hatfield hopes to provide students year-round access to donated clothes, books, water bottles, school supplies and more once the center has gathered enough resources.
“Hopefully it’ll become a program that’s normalized where students can just come scan their ID and not have to battle with that stigma of getting assistance but be proud of being at a university that’s serving students,” Hatfield said.
However, for the time being, the upcoming free store will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or while supplies last.
Students can support the store by donating gently used clothes, dress shirts, shoes, water bottles, school supplies and more to the sustainability center on the first floor of the EMU. Students hoping to take part in the free store will be asked to present a UO ID.
The center is also offering another program where students at the EMU can checkout coffee mugs and tumblers by providing a UO ID and phone number. Discounts are offered to people who use reusable containers at Starbucks.
To learn more about the Student Sustainability Center on campus, visit the EMU website.
—By Bryan Dorn, University Communications