We spent a lot of time at our lovely climate controlled storage units this summer. And when I say climate controlled, I mean that it wasn’t 90 degrees with 100% humidity like the outside weather, but that it was possible that you might pass out if you were wearing anything heavier than a tank top and didn’t have a water bottle on you at all times. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into that sorting, but mostly sweat. And a couple tears from the times that I tried to go to the storage unit by myself and got immediately overwhelmed by the piles and piles of stuff and the microscopic dent I had made in it. I look back on the time spent at that unit fondly and think that it would make an excellent venue for an exclusive club. The Storage Unit. Think about it.
Many volunteers joined us at the unit this summer – shout out to Ben, Erinn, Charlotte, Elinor, Leland, Rachel, and Steph Choi’s sister for all your help! Shout out to the summertime storage people for being so accommodating as well, because basically every time we did sorting, we had to empty out the entire unit into the hallways then pack it all back in. Often, the sheer volume of stuff that we had was overwhelming but thanks to Pandora One’s ad free listening (this may or may not be a product placement) and the excellent company of the other volunteers, time flew. Also, it was kind of like Christmas every time we opened a new box of stuff, and every volunteer typically went home with some kind of treasure (see what I did there?!) after their shift, whether it was a single-egg frying pan, a disco ball, or a vacuum cleaner. Personally, my business casual wardrobe took off after a summer of sorting.
But our time this summer wasn’t limited to the storage unit. Reily Recreation Center was kind enough to donate the basement of their building to us and we stored a lot of plastics and metals down there. Nothing wooden or paper due to the termites. It wasn’t climate controlled, but it was right underneath the swimming pool so it was cool and damp and would have made an excellent place for a secret headquarters. We also spent some time in Wall (the best res hall on campus!) where we spent an evening plugging things into a wall. It was very thrilling and I bet you’re jealous you missed it. That’s okay, we need volunteers for next summer!
Speaking of volunteering, why should you volunteer for Trash to Treasure, you ask? Great question! Aside from the warm fuzzy feeling you get from saving the environment (and the fact that its summertime in New Orleans which is quite possibly hotter than hell), there are also lots of benefits! Like the fact that after every shift, volunteers got a FREE $10.50 meal card to the LBC (Thank you to Rob and Sodexo for making this happen)! Free I say! Plus free water and snacks at The Storage Unit, the most exclusive club in town! Not to mention a free sexy bro tank emblazoned with the righteous Trash to Treasure logo. Feeling inspired yet?
Aside from sorting, we also started our outreach segment this summer, and donated a lot of donated materials to local charities. Old towels and blankets went to Animal Rescue New Orleans, the only no-kill animal shelter in the area. Remember those 20 pairs of crutches that to be perfectly honest, we just weren’t sure what to do with? Those went to Easter Seals, an organization that provides donated medical supplies to people who can’t afford them. TONS of clothing went to Salvation Army. I am forever thankful for the guys at the loading dock who take all the donations out of your car for you so you don’t have to haul it for a third time that day. And speaking of the car, thanks to the ASB Motor Pool at Tulane for letting us to continue to use the cars over the summer for transportation!
Finally, the last thing we did this summer was finalize everything for the Fall Sale. And by finalize, I mean that we had no location for the sale until two weeks before school started. When I got an e-mail from Michael Batt in the music department, whom I had talked to a month earlier, telling us we could use the Dixon Reception Room for our sale, the months of stressing and melting in the New Orleans heat seemed worth it. Sara Valentine in the theatre department was also a blessing and she reserved the blackbox theatre classroom for us to use as a temporary storage space for sale items. The Tulane Fine Arts department has our forever gratitude.
And that folks, was this summer in a nutshell. Cool people, exclusive club dates, Christmas in July, free lunch, and pulling everything together last minute. Oh, and puppies, of course. Now that is a real adventure you don’t want to miss out on, which is why you, yes YOU, should be a Trash to Treasure volunteer next summer!