Bates Clean Sweep raises nearly $16,000 for local nonprofits

Clean Sweep, Bates College's seventh annual "garage sale" of electronics, furnishings, bikes, toys and other goods donated by departing students, takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the college's Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St.

The 10th annual Clean Sweep, Bates College’s “garage sale” of appliances, furniture, electronics and other goods donated by departing students, raised nearly $16,000 in proceeds that will be divided among 14 local nonprofit organizations.

A community tradition, the June 19 sale drew crowds of enthusiastic bargain-hunters to Bates’ Underhill Area.

“More than 100 volunteers from 14 local nonprofit organizations put in more than 1,000 hours of collecting, sorting, cleaning, organizing and pricing an arena full of items,” says Julie Rosenbach, event organizer and the college’s sustainability coordinator.

The sale both keeps unwanted possessions out of the waste stream and raises money for the nonprofits. Local organizations supply volunteers to help staff the event, and in return receive a share of the proceeds. Rosenbach explains that the proceeds are split among the participating organizations based on the number of volunteer hours, trucks and tables provided.

Located in Lewiston except as indicated, the nonprofits taking part were: the Caleb Garden Club; Common Ties Mental Health Services; First Universalist Church, Auburn; the Justice, Ecology and Democracy Collective, Greene; Life Center; Literacy Volunteers-Androscoggin; Lots to Gardens; Maine Fair Trade Campaign; Maine People’s Alliance; New Beginnings, Inc.; the Root Cellar; the Share Center, Auburn; Somali Bantu Community Association; and TriCounty Mental Health Services.

Bates is one of a number of colleges and universities nationwide that benefit both local nonprofit organizations and the environment by selling useful possessions donated by students as they depart at the end of the academic year.

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