Nelson Hall residents cleared out their closets with a clothes swap April 9. After a day of each person looking at one another’s items the rest of the girls’ clothes were donated.
Shannon Kaczmarek, area coordinator of Nelson and McDonald Hall, helped to initiate and organize this hall activity. As the associate director of residence life, Kaczmarek has witnessed and participated in the event four times out of her five years on staff.
The clothes swap is meant to encourage the freshman residents to go through their stuff and determine what they can leave behind. This year, at least a couple hundred shirts were donated, along with a multitude of pants, shorts, dresses, shoes, bags, scarves and belts.
“A lot of people just throw their stuff away,” Kaczmarek said. “This is an opportunity for it all to not be wasted, but to be used.”
Each year the left over clothes are donated to a greater cause, either a nonprofit in town or an organization that will disperse them to people in need. This year, half of the clothes will go to the Christian Service Center, while the other half will help people outside of the United States.
Ali Stratton, freshman nursing major from Beaumont, took the opportunity to serve the community even more and volunteered to drive the clothes to be donated.
“I have a passion for community service- due to my school work load it’s hard for me to find time to volunteer,” Stratton said. “After sharing a bit of my heart about this with Shannon she encouraged me to take part in what they were doing- even though I am simply bringing clothes from one place to another, I still get to serve in some way.”
The remaining half of the clothes were given to Aaron McDermott, junior accounting major from Flower Mound. He and Eric Dice, junior criminal justice major from San Diego, Calif., held a garage sale this past Saturday to raise money for people in Guatemala. McDermott will give all of the money raised directly to impoverished people after establishing relationships with them through his mission work there this summer.
Kaczmarek said the Center for Christian Leadership and Service usually holds their own recycling event at the end of the semester. Students can bring what they want to get rid of and look for new things. Furniture, clothes, decorations and more can be donated and swapped out. Leftover items are donated to organizations in Abilene.