A Sustainable Approach to Collecting Unwanted Items during Student Residence Move-Out 

Each spring, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central and Southern Interior of BC (BBBSCSI) partners with UBCO’s Student Housing to collect and sell donated clothing and household items at the thrift market. The proceeds generated from these efforts directly benefit BBBSCSI’s school-based mentoring initiatives, serving thousands of children across the Okanagan. 

From April to May 2023, students at UBCO generously donated an impressive 3,500 lbs. of items such as clothing, shoes, towels, and bedding as they moved out of their residences. Working together to provide a designated space for donations during residence move-out, BBBSCI and Residence Life Student Housing and Community Services at UBCO have managed to streamline the donation process, ensuring it is both efficient and safe for both students and the staff responsible for collecting their contributions. 

See below for project details and a Q&A with project co-lead Steven Wall, Operations Manager at the BBBSCSI. 

Project Details 

Project Title: Residence Move-Out Donation Rooms 


Duration: April 12 – May 31, 2023 

Learn more 

This partnership was supported by the Partnership Recognition and Exploration Support (PRE) Fund. 

Q&A with Steven Wall from BBBSCSI 

Why is this project important and how is it supporting BBBSCSI’s goals? 

This project is important because it helps students in the community to donate items that they no longer need. Making partnerships like this not only benefits community partners but helps keep items out of our landfills and gives these items a second chance. 

What strengths did each party (UBC + BBBSCSI) bring to the project? 

Some of our UBC partner’s strengths were communication and overall organization. They made the process of Residence Move-Out Donations very simple, easy and ultimately a success! While BBBSCSI was very flexible and available whenever necessary to pick up donations. 

During the project, were there any opportunities to teach, learn, or do research? 

During the project, I believe that Student Housing taught and explained more about what BBBSCSI really does and what our cores values are. First, our mission is to enable life changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people. Second, our vision is for all young people to realize their full potential. 

Something I learned — and did not realize — was how much UBC is involved with their surrounding communities. Not only are they an educational institution but advocates and supporters for the betterment of local communities. 

What was your favorite outcome or experience from the project? 

I really enjoyed hearing positive feedback from UBCO students and faculty members on how this project made it simple and convenient to donate unwanted clothing items. 

Can you share a few lessons you learned during your project? 

  1. The importance of community and how simple ideas can really help form relationships.  
  1. The idea of having a Residence Move-Out Donation Room not only to donate unwanted items but the importance of giving donated items a second chance so they don’t end up in the landfill. 
  1. Strong and cohesive communities can bring change and understanding why it is important to do certain things for the overall betterment of the planet. 

What is next for this project? 

We would like to create more accessible and safe ways for the community to be able to donate and help keep items out of landfills. The typical outdoor parking lot bins are not the answer. These bins get vandalized and broken into. People’s donations can be stolen and soiled. Also, it can be dangerous for staff that service these types of bins. 

Having our bins at UBC’s student housing is safe and convenient for donors to donate unwanted items. Our bins are small, transportable and kept inside in secure areas. We would encourage more safe and convenient locations within our communities for donors to donate.  

We are excited to share that we now have BBBSCSI donation bins inside UBCO’s residence buildings year-round!