Bowdoin College has been responsibly getting rid of its end-of-school flotsam and jetsam since 2002. Back in the beginning, they called it the "Dump and Run" and a few local non-profits helped the Bowdoin staff collect, sort and sell the clothing, sheets, lamps, rugs and other detritus from the college students that would otherwise be thrown in dumpsters. In return, the non-profits got a cut of the profits ($11 Thousand in the early days). In 2003 I volunteered with the Dump and Run, to benefit a women's shelter where I did some part time work. I remember stacking reams and reams of paper and sorting lots of three ring binders in the old hockey arena. As a volunteer, I got the golden ticket: early entry to the presale, the day before the public opening. I remember bringing home some bargains: An extra long therm-a-rest pad, book shelves, and a remarkably clean rug. I paid $10 for that clean rug. That once clean rug now looks like this:
(Don't ask about the burn mark, I'll post about that soon, I promise.)
So here it is 2011 and Bowdoin is still running their sale and still organizing a great volunteer effort and cleaning their campus in the process. This year's sale, called the "Give and Go" opens to the public tomorrow morning at 8am in Fort Andross, Brunswick. This year I earned the golden ticket by volunteering with others from the Bowdoinham Community School's parent organization. I sorted sheets and pillowcases for 4 hours. Yes, it was gross. And at this year's presale I bought another great, amazingly clean rug. One foot shorter, and $10 more than the 2003 version.
The presale was a mad house, but I had a blast . Everyone was in a good mood, despite the muggy heat of Thursday afternoon. Bowdoin faculty, staff and students got to join the throngs of volunteers. Perhaps it was the heat that made me gravitate toward this outfit.
Who owned this? A college student?
I really want to wear it at my library's Summer Reading Program with its "One World, Many Stories" theme. I could just imagine reading Anansi the Spider in this outfit! But here is the question. Is it a man's suit or a woman's? And what would be the appropriate head wear?
If you are going to the sale tomorrow, a few things:
Get in line early, maintain a positive attitude, bring your own tote bags, and remember that it all goes to many many good causes. But don't count on a large, green African outfit for $6. I got the only one.