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July 8, 2019

Repurposing for a Purpose: Donating Chairs Shows Adelphi’s Commitment to Environmental and Social Sustainability

by Nii Akrofi Smart-Abbey, M.F.A. '20 (anticipated)

As director of procurement in University Resources, Operations and Policies, one of Elizabeth Kash’s responsibilities was to empty the Ruth S. Harley University Center prior to its renovation. That included the 600 chairs that had been used for the many events held in the Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom. Rather than sending the chairs to the dumpster, she saw an opportunity to put Adelphi’s commitment to being environmentally and socially sustainable and fiscally responsible into action.

“I felt that it was important that the chairs not end up in a landfill,” she said. “They still had plenty of ‘life’ in them. I started the search to find a new home for the chairs.”

For assistance, she reached out to Della Hudson, associate dean of student affairs. “Within two days, we had found new homes for all of the chairs,” said Kash.

The chairs have been donated to local nonprofit organizations on Long Island that assist teens, senior citizens, veterans and people struggling financially. “It’s very gratifying that the chairs will be put to good use by several local community organizations,” Kash said.

Kash said Tri-State Moving Services handles delivering and moving furniture for Adelphi. She asked Tri-State for a price to deliver the chairs to their donation sites. “They said they would like to donate their labor,” she said—a $3,000 service.

Below is the list of beneficiary organizations and the quantity of chairs they received.

  • AMVETS Post 48, Ronkonkoma—received 61 chairs
  • Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Hauppauge—100 chairs
  • Glory House Recovery, Hempstead—125 chairs
  • S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Uniondale—100 chairs
  • The INN, Hempstead—100 chairs
  • Union Baptist Church, Hempstead—150 chairs

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