The annual Hoosier to Hoosier Community Sale in August is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the items left behind in IU dorms that are usually sold at the event will go directly to local nonprofits.
“We simply would not be responsible if we invited 3,500 people in a seven-hour period to come to an enclosed space,” said Margie Hershey, president of Volunteers Associates, Inc., the organization in charge of the sale.
Hershey said volunteers are needed for next week, starting Monday, to go into dorms and pick up the used items. Volunteers will first pull out items for Middle Way House, the Shalom Community Center and the Bloomington Animal Shelter, which all request specific items.
Representatives from other local nonprofits will come pick up any remaining items from Monday to July 3, Hershey said. The other nonprofits that will be receiving the items include Monroe County United Ministries, Teachers Warehouse and Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Hershey said any items left over after will be donated to Goodwill.
“We hope that although this isn’t as substantial a program as we’ve had in the past, and we’re very, very sorry that we can’t invite the community into a sale, we want to try to do as much as we can,” she said.
The sale usually receives 50 to 70 tons of materials and items, and there will likely be more this year because IU students had strange move-out situations due to the pandemic, Hershey said.
“It’s such a wonderful program because it gives a lot of us the chance to make sure that really worthy organizations like Middle Way House and the Shalom Center receive materials free that they really need that otherwise would have been wasted,” she said. “That gives us all a chance to give back a little to the people who give so much to our community.”