College students are leaving for the summer, and leaving lots behind. But the leftovers are not being thrown away.
'Ten Tons of Love' has collected the leavings for 20 years, and distributed them to the Syracuse area's needy. This year, collection boxes in dorms at SU, SUNY ESF and for the first time OCC have signs on them, telling students where their donations go, and donations are up.
Pastor Craig Herrick, whose First English Lutheran Church on Syracuse's James Street oversees the truck pickups and the sorting, says this year they've collected about 40 tons--of everything. Community volunteers are working in the church basement to sort the truckloads full into food, clothing, electronics, bedding, and books categories. Then, they're sorted again, the clothes by size, sex, etc. Some stay in the church clothes closet and food pantries, but boxes get shipped out to other agencies, including the Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities and area refugee programs
Herrick says they're no longer surprised at what students leave behind, and everything gets re-used by needy. The only items that they try to re-sell are textbooks, with the money going to feed the 40 volunteers doing the sorting, and to pay for boxes and redistribution efforts.