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HWS Community Donation collects left-behind student items, donates them to community organizations

Moving day is coming soon for almost 2,000 students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva.

Barn Sale evolves into Community Donation program

When those students return home for the summer, they leave a lot of things behind. HWS conducts an annual Community Donation, in which the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning collects those items at several dropoff points, then distributes them to community organizations that can use them. For years, the CCESL collected the items and sold them to the public at the annual Barn Sale, with the proceeds going to local non-profits. Over time, the sale got too big to manage and CCESL Director Katie Flowers says it dawned on them that there was a better way to accomplish the same goal.

CCESL Assistant Director Peter Budmen is a 2015 graduate of the colleges. He says he always knew he would return to Geneva and serve the community.

Students can drop off their unwanted items at locations on campus. The deadline for community organizations to receive donations is Friday. To register, email

Listen to my full Inside the FLX conversation with Katie Flowers and Peter Budmen below.