Posted on Jun 16, 2008

Marion Porterfield, site coordinator for Weed and Seed of Hamilton Hill (foreground) and Sara Erickson, YWCA director of development and communications (right/background), sort through student donations at the second annual furniture drive to benefit Habi

When Union students left their dorms last week, they donated dozens of lamps, electronics, appliances and chairs that were too big to take along.

On Monday, some 70 campus staffers distributed the donations to three local agencies: Habitat for Humanity, Weed and Seed of Hamilton Hill, and the YWCA.

Sara Erickson, director of development and communication for the YWCA, was pleased to see the number of lamps and small appliances left behind. “We have 50 women living at the Y year-round and we also operate Schenectady County’s only domestic violence shelter,” she said. “These will be especially welcome to our residents.”

Last year’s donations from Union students to Habitat for Humanity enabled the organization to open its ReStore, a public thrift store on Foster Avenue, in August. Proceeds from the business are used to build homes for deserving families.

“The student donations are especially needed since we specialize in furniture and small appliances like the mini-refrigerators,” said Jenny Mann, office manager for Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity Office Manager Jenny Mann sorts through student furniture and electronic donations at the Memorial Field House. Selected items will be delivered to the ReStore on Foster Avenue and sold to raise money to build further homes.

Weed and Seed of Hamilton Hill provides assistance to families who have children going off to college. “We’re always in need of furnishings and electronic items like TVs and stereo equipment,” said Site Coordinator Marion Porterfield. “These donations will help defray some of the burden for these families and allow them to use their money for other things.”

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Loren T. Rucinski, director of facilities services. “Union can provide some much needed help to the community while reducing the amount that goes into a landfill.”

For more information, contact Residential Life at (518) 388-6117 or