PennMOVES program gives unwanted items a second life

student volunteers with PennMOVES

As Penn students move out of dorms and apartments for the summer, some leave behind piles of useable clothes, furniture, kitchen supplies and non-perishable food items.

One University project has found a way to keep those items out of landfills.

The PennMOVES program, now in its second year, is collecting these cast-offs and will redistribute these items through a community sale, to be held at the Penn Ice Rink on June 6 and 7. All proceeds from the sale will benefit organizations identified by the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The sale is open to all faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the community.

Last year, volunteers collected more than 85,000 pounds of items from Penn students, which were distributed directly to local charities that had been identified by the Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

PennMOVES accepts donations of clean towels, bedding, clothing and shoes; computing items, including printers and power cords; coffeemakers, microwaves and other small appliances; and plastic storage containers with lids. People can also volunteer their time to staff collection sites, transport items to the central collection point, sort and organize items and help with the June sale.

For more information, and to sign up to volunteer, visit the PennMOVES website at

Originally published on May 13, 2009