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The History of PennMOVES

In 2008, Business Services launched PennMOVES– Move Out Volunteers Engaging in Service which collects items that Penn students can’t take with them when they leave campus in the summer – clothes, furniture, appliances, books, kitchen gear, toys, sporting goods and non perishable food, etc.  Rather than ending up in the landfill, these items were gathered, sorted and then offered for sale.  On average, over 90,000 pounds of items are collected each year.

The event has evolved over the years. In the pilot year, items were collected and distributed directly to local non-profit organizations. For the following two years, we joined with United Way and held a community sale at the Penn Ice Rink. We raised over $45,000 from the sale which United Way distributed to charities in local neighborhoods.

In 2009, PennMOVES won the University's Models of Excellence Award and was recognized by Recycle Now & Mayor Michael Nutter as a Hometown Hero.

In 2011 and 2012, Penn collaborated with Goodwill Industries, one of the world’s largest nonprofit providers of employment training services for people with disabilities and other employment barriers, to provide technical expertise and logistical support. The sale was held in Penn’s  newly acquired property at 3401 Gray’s Ferry, now known as the South Bank. Proceeds from the 2011 sale were over $25,000 and grew to $45,000 in 2012. These funds went to support Goodwill’s local job training programs including their newest initiative with the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office for the Reintegration Services of Ex-Offenders.

In 2013, PennMOVES began donating directly to GoodWill to help them establish a presence in West Philadelphia. Plans for 2014 are underway, for information check the website of Penn's Department of  Residential Services which oversees the University's housing services.