Ivy Tech joins oneSHIRT clothing drive

Thursday, February 17, 2011

From Feb. 21-23, student volunteers from Ivy Tech Community College, Wabash Valley will join student volunteers from hundreds of other universities and colleges across the country in collecting a shirt or other items of clothing for the oneSHIRT National Collegiate Clothing Drive.

The clothing drive is part of a larger campaign initiated by SustainU clothing company in partnership with Goodwill Industries and Nuru International to educate people about the importance and value of making sustainable choices in life.

The bags of clothing collected will be donated to Goodwill Industries to benefit their back-to-work programs.

Any clothing that cannot be resold will be recycled by Goodwill.

Ivy Tech's decision to participate in this event stems from the efforts of the College's Green Committee, a faculty and staff group dedicated to helping Ivy Tech become a more environmentally aware institution.

The committee has already identified ways to reduce garbage and pollution on campus and is working to build recycling awareness among students and employees.

Its support of the oneSHIRT campaign is seen as another way for Ivy Tech to make a difference in the world by collecting unused clothing for Goodwill to re-distribute or recycle.

On average, Americans dispose of 68 pounds of clothing per person every year, which represents 4 percent of the solid waste stream in the United States.

In addition, clothing occupies about 5 percent of all landfill space.

Rene Hankins, chair of the Green Committee, likes the opportunity the national campaign provides to continue to improve the Wabash Valley campus.

"The Green Committee is committed to identifying as many ways as possible for students and staff to recycle so that we have a more earth-friendly college," she said.

Bill Tennis, executive director of Goodwill Industries in Terre Haute, sees even more benefits to Ivy Tech students participating in the oneSHIRT campaign.

"They will divert material from the waste stream and help create jobs for people with employment barriers at Goodwill Industries," he said.

For more information about Ivy Tech's oneSHIRT effort or to volunteer, contact Nina Storey at 298-2288 or nstorey@ivytech.edu.

SustainU is an American company launched through the West Virginia University Small Business incubator in June 2009 that is focused on social, economic and environmental sustainability. Located in Morgantown, W.V., it uses domestic labor and recycled fiber to create apparel targeted at the collegiate community.

Goodwill Industries International is a group of independently-operated, nonprofit, community-based affiliates that provide job-based and employment services for people with disabilities. Its retail stores are stocked with donated clothing and household goods, with almost 85 percent of the revenues directed into training and placement programs.

Nuru International is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, public benefit charity dedicated to fighting extreme poverty in the world through sustainable initiatives. Founder and CEO Jake Harriman attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served more than seven years in the Marine Corps.

He received a Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq.

Harriman founded Nuru International in Kuria, Kenya in 2008.

Nuru is a Kiswahili word meaning "light."

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.

Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana.

It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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