The early bird gets the worm – or in this case the lightly used pair of sneakers.
Bargain shoppers can enter Beaver Stadium as early as 7:30 Saturday morning to begin filling tote bags with clothing, pots, pans, pillows and whatever other traces remain of last year’s Penn State’s student body.
The 14th Annual Trash to Treasure sale aims to find a new home for 43.7 tons worth of dorm room leftovers. Shoppers will be given free totes that they can fill with clothing and other small items to be purchased at the price of $20 per bag. Larger items like furniture will be individually marked, with all of the proceeds going to the Centre County United Way.
Although the sale will last until 2 p.m., early morning shoppers hoping to get a jump on the competition between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. will be charged a $5 admission fee – and may still come out ahead.
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“There’s always plenty to see even in the early hours,” said Beth Shaha, coordinator of special events for Centre County United Way.
According to Shaha, the purpose of the sale is to keep the items out of landfills and raise funds for United Way, all while providing high-quality items to those in need.
The sale’s massive inventory was collected from a series of drop zones spread throughout each of the residences on campus. From there, Shaha and her team of volunteers spent a week and half sorting through student donations, dividing piles of clothing by gender, article and size.
Once the items were categorized, the makeshift shop took shape over a period of four or five days in an area just inside Beaver Stadium’s Gate B with the help of hundreds of volunteers.
“We’re like a super store that we set up in three weeks,” Shaha said.
The result is a layout that could double as a Macy’s, Best Buy, or a HomeGoods depending on which way you turn when walking through the door.
But first the clothes.
So very many clothes.
Oxfords. T-shirts. Jeans. Those and other miscellaneous garments from designers like Gap and Ralph Lauren have been folded neatly into piles across a series of long tables. Outerwear like robes and jackets hang on racks, beckoning from just a couple of feet away.
Those with a full closet may have better luck over in the electronics aisles, where they can peruse an assortment of printers, a box full of headphones, or a selection of TVs that could sit comfortably on a kitchen counter or fill that large chunk of wall space behind the credenza.
June’s impending arrival also may necessitate revisiting that timeless friend of the college dorm dweller – the oscillating fan (of which there are many).
Speaking of home appliances, vacuums may not be the flashiest post-dawn purchase but they have a certain practicality and dependable nature that people may come to appreciate with age.
Plus, they are on sale.