Students Lead Recycling Effort for MLK Day of Service

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 28, 2015

The Community Service Office hosted its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18 and 19. Student and staff volunteers gathered to collect items that members in the community wanted to give a new home.

Although Sunday’s shredding, eWaste, and repurposing activities were cancelled due to the weather, some community members still managed to bring carloads of donations to campus. Others dropped off their gently used items on Monday when the event officially resumed, happy and willing to help several non-profits in Greater Philadelphia.

Greta Diem ’17 and Amber Verhoorn ’18 served as student coordinators for this year’s event, which they had been planning since early November. Cindy Rubino, coordinator of the Community Service Office, also worked with the students throughout the planning process.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in the Greater Philadelphia area is the biggest MLK Day event in the nation, and Arcadia and the residents of the surrounding areas didn’t disappoint. “There were so many people,” said Verhoorn. “It was really awesome to see all of the community members and have them tell us they appreciate our effort.” Verhoorn added that she stopped counting the number of cars coming in when she hit 250 before noon.

Paper shredding by Shred One turned out to be the most popular service, as 17.45 tons of paper was shredded at Arcadia. Additionally, 7.95 tons of eWaste was collected; electronics that couldn’t be donated to the thrift shops were safely recycled through eForce Compliance. Other donations included clothing, toys, tools, and household items, cell phones, pet supplies, and canned goods.

The following organizations benefited from the event: the Pennsylvania SPCA, New Life Thrift Shop, Cradles to Crayons, Aid for Friends, The Baby Bureau, Face to Face, Global Brigades, Habitat for Humanity, Jenkintown Lions Club, Philadelphia Reads, Project Sloopy, Simply Equal Education, and Whosoever Gospel Mission.

David Klein ’15 enjoyed seeing the event evolve into a true community effort. “A lot of people dropping their items off actually took them out of their car and brought them under the tent themselves,” said Klein. “It was great to see that the event really brought everyone together.”

Rubino and everyone at the Community Service Office expressed their gratitude to all of the staff, volunteers, and community members who made the event possible.