[E]very year a new wave of visiting immigrants arrives to join the some 600,000 international students currently studying in the U.S. The bulk of them will be arriving in the States in the next few weeks before the fall semester. Many will only arrive with a single suitcase and the clothes on their back. They will have a few days to set up their new lives in a country that may be very different from the one they left. They often have few financial resources until their first paychecks are available. “So how does that involve me?” you may be asking.
Well, we as Americans tend to have a lot of extra stuff we could share with these students. How much extra stuff exactly? According to the Self-Storage Association, Americans spend more than $20 Billion a year to rent space to store their extra stuff. That is billion with a B. Just think about how much stuff that means we have. It would cover an area more than 3 times the size of Manhattan Island. Living in a college town, I have found not only do we have a lot of stuff, college students leave a lot more stuff behind each year simply because they don’t want to move it. So what to do with all this stuff?
One suggestion is to share some of that stuff with our new neighbors. The church I attend has been collecting and giving away household goods – furniture, bedding, cups, vacuums, hibachis, futons, etc – on the Saturday before the fall semester starts. Here’s the call to help:
No, we are not giving away international students; however, we are trying to welcome them!
Please donate any gently used furniture (couches, beds, chairs, tables, desks, etc.) and/or household goods (dishes, towels, cookware, linens, etc.) for international students new to the country. This is an excellent way to love international students and introduce them to loving Christians! Please no clothes or large appliances.
What: International Student Giveaway
When: Saturday, August 20, 2011 from 8-11a.m.
We need volunteers for the following: 1) Thursday and Friday – help sort through items. 2) Saturday – help make sure all runs smoothly. 3) Trucks and trailers needed as well as strong muscles for delivery of furniture to students’ apartments.
Not only does the church give the stuff away, they deliver. Since most new international students have limited transportation options, the church members load it on trailers and trucks and deliver it to the students’ apartments.
Leave a comment or drop me a line if this inspires you or you host something similar!