The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Old2Gold collects student donations

Sarah Mervosh | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Instead of throwing away unwanted belongings at the end of the year, students can donate them to Old2Gold, an annual end of the year yard sale scheduled for May 23 at Notre Dame Stadium.

“Virtually, Old2Gold will take any items that is useable that a student doesn’t need or want anymore,” Old2Gold coordinator Frank Parker said.

Commonly donated items include all kinds of furniture, any type of clothing, sports equipment, appliances, carpeting and plastic storage containers, Parker said.

Proceeds of the sale will be divided among 50 local agencies that serve the community, Parker said.

Last year, Old2Gold raised over $70,000 and has raised over $184,000 since its creation, according to its Web site.

“A key thing about Old2Gold is that the students aren’t donating the items to the University, they’re actually donating to the agencies,” Parker said. “All the money goes to the agencies that are participating.”

Old2Gold’s primary collection drive is taking place this week in conjunction with room inspections, but the organization has already collected enough items to fill 23 large cardboard boxes.

“Things have been given to Old2Gold all year long, but the actual collection of items started [Monday] with all the wood that’s coming out from the lofts that are being taken down,” Parker said

Old2Gold will take straight, non-damaged wood and bundle it together to sell.

Old2Gold has also already begun collecting non-perishable, unopened food items, which will be donated to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.

Last year, 39,000 pounds of food were collected, Parker said.

This year will be the fifth year Old2Gold has been in place, Parker said. He hopes this year will generate more funds than ever before.

“We’re hoping to raise at least $70,000 again this year like we did last year. It all depends on how generous the students here are,” Parker said, adding that they have traditionally been very generous.

For the first few years, Parker said he saw a profit of about $35,000 to $45,000, but that the profit “sky rocketed” last year.

“We’re hoping that it just keeps increasing because the more it increases the more the agencies gain dollars,” he said. “And with the economy the way it is, it really helps the agencies keep doing what they are doing for the community.”

Parker said Old2Gold also helps the environment by reusing items that would have traditionally gone straight to a landfill.

“In years gone by, a lot of the stuff was just thrown out,” he said. “Over the four years that we’ve done this, there has been over 300 tons of merchandise diverted from the landfills because we’ve reused it by selling it to folks.”

Parker said the collection welcomes any item a student does not want, as long as it isn’t broken.

“Giving us a TV that doesn’t work, that doesn’t help. But giving us a TV that works, that generates funds,” he said.

Last year, there were 5,700 shoppers, mostly from the South Bend community, who came to the sale.

“We wrapped the stadium last year before 7 a.m.,” Parker said.

There will be an early bird’s special for those who wish to enter the sale before 9 a.m., Parker said.

“We have what we call an early bird sale. Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., you have to have an early bird ticket to get in. And we start selling the early bird tickets at 5 a.m.,” he said. “From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., anybody can come in and buy.”

The early bird tickets cost $5, Parker said.