For the second year in a row, the KDI School Dormitory Assistants (DAs) have concluded another successful donation drive and giveaway event. In line with promoting sustainable practices, graduating students living in the dorms were highly encouraged to donate items in good condition that they would be unable to take home, which would just end up in the trash bins otherwise. This initiative was created for the benefit of incoming students who could put the items to good use.
To facilitate the collection process, blue donation boxes were placed on every floor of the dormitory buildings so that students could freely fill them with items like clothing, shoes, hangers, beddings, kitchen items, and other supplies. In no time, the donation boxes were completely filled up, and the DAs had to transfer the items to the donation rooms so that they could make room for more donations. By the end of the campaign, over 20 boxes were collected.
After receiving a massive amount of donated items, the DAs were faced with the grueling task of sorting and arranging the donation rooms in time for the new students’ arrival.
“There are a lot more items compared to the last donation drive,” DA Axel remarked. As such, it did not come as a surprise when the DAs stumbled upon some rather interesting items while sorting. The list of interesting items range from things like children’s clothing, toys, and wigs to nail extensions and even traditional clothing.
DA Sofia recalled, “It was definitely a challenge to move the boxes to another building and organize the items. Some of the items were in poor condition.”
“We addressed these challenges by working together and helping each other move boxes from each other’s assigned floors. If it were not for our teamwork, who knows how long moving and organizing the donations would have taken,” DA Axel shared.
After weeks of careful organizing, the donation rooms were finally opened to the new students at the beginning of Spring semester. From the start, students flocked the donation rooms in search of bedding, pillows, winter jackets, toiletries, and kitchen items. While most of the items could be taken on a “first-come-first-serve” basis, there was a limit set for items like hangers and bedding to ensure that new students would have a fair chance to get donated items.
Florencia Mtingwi from Malawi shared, “Coming from a country that does not experience the winter season, I am very happy to have access to winter jackets and other winter wear. There are so many things that I can make use of.”
Moreover, it was impressive that the new students did not hesitate to help the DAs reorganize the donation rooms. Daulet Shymyrbek from Kazakhstan said, “I took the opportunity to help the DAs because I wanted to support this kind of initiative geared towards newcomers like me.”
The giveaway event was eventually concluded during the last week of April, and all unclaimed items were donated to 아름다운가게 or “Beautiful Store,” a non-profit organization and social enterprise.
Head DA, YounJoo Kim commented, “I have a huge appreciation for the graduates and the Dormitory Assistant team who helped new students settle in and save money from their first day on campus. I hope to see many more connections within the KDIS community through volunteer activities like these.”
In the future, if another donation drive is organized, the DAs have agreed that adopting a different strategy for collecting donations would be more effective. Steps will need to be taken to ensure the quality of items and limit the number of items people can take; plus, a handover of donations should be included in the check-out process. This way, everything is pre-vetted before it is placed in the donation rooms.