In anticipation of fall break, students can clear space in their rooms by donating used items on campus to help those in need located throughout New Jersey.
Seton Hall and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark (CCANNJ) collaborated in the placement of the donation bin outside Mooney Hall near the lower level entrances.
John Westervelt, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities in Newark, stated his gratitude towards SHU in an email statement.
“We want to thank the President of SHU, Dr. A Gabriel Esteban, and Father Ziccardi for their cooperation in allowing us to place a bin at SHU. They, as well as all those who contribute to the bin, are God’s instruments in helping Catholic Charities relieve the burdens of some of the most oppressed members of society,” Westervelt said.
Ziccardi said the bin arrived on campus on Sept. 16 and the SHU community was notified on Sept. 27.
“My role in bringing the bin to campus was to explore the desirability and possibility of doing so with various campus constituencies and above the President and other Vice Presidents. Almost everyone thought it was a good and worthwhile effort,” Ziccardi said.
Maria Biancheri, senior grants specialist for CCANNJ, said the charity accepts all forms of gently used clothing, small appliances, shoes, linens, sheets, towels, stuffed animals, and books with the exception of reference books.
“If someone has a lot of items, maybe they are cleaning out a house, we will come to their house to make a pick-up— still mostly smaller items, so not furniture,” Biancheri said in an email interview. “There is a QR code right on the bin that people can scan with their smartphone to get a receipt, or they can call the toll-free number on the bin and we will send a receipt for their donation— which is of course tax deductible.”
According to Biancheri, the donated items are sold at a chain of thrift stores in Ohio and Catholic Charities gets paid for each pound of items donated.
“We use those funds to support a variety of different programs, such as our Emergency Food and Nutrition Network, which coordinates the bulk food collections and distribution through a network of 50 faith-based food pantries and shelters in the Archdiocese of Newark, or our shelter system of seven emergency and transitional shelters in Hudson and Essex County,” Biancheri said.
Biancheri added that the initiative grew from 11 parishes in 2013 to more than 85 bins currently in 66 locations throughout the Archdiocese. This is the first of the bins to be placed at Seton Hall.
Ziccardi said that Pope Francis has made the world aware of how we need to live in a way that is environment-friendly and sustainable.
“Many of us are living in ways that are not sustainable; for example, we will discard items that are still in very good condition only because we have the money to buy something brand new. If we’re not going to use them, they should not go to the ash heap because there are others who could use them,” Ziccardi said. “Having the bin will facilitate the re-use of good items by those who have very few financial resources.”
Every six months CCANNJ will report to SHU about the amount of money that the bin raised and will highlight one of the programs which benefited from the converted dollar donation.
“We thought Seton Hall would be a wonderful fit, because of our shared Catholic values. We are confident that the community of Seton Hall will be openly and intentionally generous because they are aware of those in need around them,” Biancheri said. “We hope that word will get out not just among the students, faculty and staff of Seton Hall but also alumni.”
Leah Carton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.