The Great Donate initiative is back to help students alleviate the costs of homeware items - as Belfield campus opens its doors to Freshers and returning students.
The Great Donate initiative has become a tradition to celebrate the dawn of a new academic year. With bags, baskets, and containers filled with kitchenware and other home essentials, the area facing the Glenomena Laundrette has turned into the hotspot for students who want to get their hands on household items but might struggle financially to purchase them.
Led by UCD’s Students Union, the initiative gives a second life to items that belonged to other UCD students and, simultaneously, eases the process of settling in for students by relieving them of long and costly trips to stores such as IKEA that might add to the hectic nature of the first days before the beginning of term. Campaigns and Engagement Officer Miranda Bauer summarises the purpose of the initiative as a way to provide students, incoming and returning, with “anything they might need for their new place.” Bauer elaborates on this specific goal on the initiative, adding that the SU aims to “make sure that no one is lacking of anything in their houses [...] they can just... go home and [they] have plates, cutlery and, everything they might need”.
Another important goal of the Great Donate, Bauer adds, is to further support students through the ongoing cost of living crisis by alleviating the expenses related to household items: “a lot of students might not afford to be able to buy a lot of these things that they might need, especially moving either from abroad or from other places in Ireland [...] this is just a great initiative for people who can’t afford to buy these things.”
Graduate Officer Marc Matouc emphasises the sustainable and “eco-friendly” side of the initiative, since the Great Donate relies on donations and, therefore, ensuring that items in good conditions can continue to serve their purpose.
The popularity of the Great Donate is evident by the large crowd gathering in front of the Glenomena Laundrette long before the scheduled start of the initiative (10am on Friday, 1st September), and by how quickly people stocked their bags provided by the SU, Matouc adds. Both officers recall how quickly the SU ran out of items to give away last academic year, and hope this year’s Great Donate will achieve the same success.
Whilst the Students Union is no longer accepting donations, it is still possible to get involved in the initiative: Miranda Bauer invites people who might be interested in volunteering - including supervising the initiative runs smoothly - to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Both officers also invite anyone who might need any items for themselves to come along.
The Great Donate is also scheduled for Monday, 4th September from 12pm to 3pm, and Tuesday, 5th September between 1pm and 4pm. Further details are available on the UCD Students Union Instagram account.