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Campus & Community

Goodwill Donation Drive Aims to Deliver Education and Employment

By: Ben Seal

July 28, 2017

Goodwill bins are on campus for the annual donation drive.

For five weeks this summer, there is an easy way to play a part in Drexel University’s effort to increase job and training opportunities for residents in the surrounding communities. All it takes is dropping off clothing, books, toys or household items in one of six bins located across Drexel’s campuses through Aug. 14 as part of an annual donation drive to benefit Goodwill of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia.

The drive, which stems from a partnership Drexel and Goodwill started four years ago, will gather items to be sold at Goodwill’s location at 5050 Parkside Ave. Funds raised from the effort will support employment training for West Philadelphians, including work readiness and basic computer skills, at Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

“Donations help individuals with disadvantages attain marketable job skills so that they can become competitively employed,” said Gregory P. Montanaro, vice president and executive director of the Office of the President and Federal Affairs, who is a member and past chairman of Goodwill’s board of trustees. “In a sense, you help build stronger families and communities one job at a time by donating the clothes and household items you no longer need.”

At the end-of-year campus collection, nearly $18,000 was generated for Goodwill, Montanaro said. That money, along with the funds created from this summer’s drive, helps to pay for job training programs at the Dornsife Center, as well as the books and other materials used to help break down barriers to employment.

Sarah Steltz, the director of workforce and economic inclusion in the Office of University and Community Partnerships, said Goodwill is “one of the most amazing community-minded organizations we have in the region,” and its interest in servicing the neighborhoods surrounding Drexel is right in line with the University’s own focus.

“It’s a nice cycle where we can donate here in West Philadelphia things that we’re not using and that donation can go directly to benefit people trying to find jobs and education here in West Philadelphia at the Dornsife Center,” said Steltz.

The Goodwill location in West Philadelphia has made a concerted effort to hire directly through the Dornsife Center, which hosts job fairs that allow participants to be hired on the spot, Steltz said.

“Drexel and Goodwill are united in their quest to help West Philadelphia residents build on their education in order to increase their job marketability and long-term economic potential,” said Montanaro.

Goodwill has a complete list of items it can and cannot accept as donations. Students looking to get involved at the Dornsife Center, beyond the donation drive, can work as tutors for adults seeking to continue their education, Steltz said, and there is always room for support in the on-site computer labs.

“We have co-ops, work studies, volunteers — students of every stripe have the opportunity to get involved,” said Steltz.

Donation bins are located at the following sites:

  • Lot F: 31st and Ludlow streets
  • Lot W: SE corner, 33rd and Cherry streets
  • Lot S: 32nd Street behind Caneris Hall
  • Lot D: 217 N. 35th Street
  • Queen Lane parking lot
  • Academy of Natural Sciences (indoor bin)

Members of the Drexel community who make donations can pick up tax receipts at the following locations:

  • Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, 3210 Cherry Street
  • Human Resources Office, 3201 Arch Street, Suite 430
  • Creese Student Center, front desk
  • Academy of Natural Sciences

For more information on the donation drive, contact Janeile Johnson, assistant director of strategic initiatives, at jjohnson@drexel.edu or 215.895.5806.