On Saturday, November 16th, Cherry Hill East will be hosting its semi-annual “Stuff a Truck” event in the parking lot. The event enables community members to donate items that they don’t use around the house anymore, spanning from furniture, clothing, building materials, landscape materials, that East’s Habitat for Humanity club will use to fill up a truck. The donations include items that people currently feel unnecessary or unimportant in their own lives.
The experience proves to be very rewarding because after the truck is filled, the donations go the ReStore which Mrs. Smaldore, the leader of Habitat for Humanity describes as a “mini home depot.” The ReStore receives donations from the club annually, and this year, Mrs. Smaldore and the Habitat members will personally drive the truck to ReStore and unload the donations themselves. The ReStore proceeds to sell the donations and profits from its sales to support habitat programs across various areas, such as New Haven County. The ReStore is also open to the public, so people can find and purchase a host of different products, both used and brand-new.
Cherry Hill East has hosted the “Stuff a Truck” event for around 15 years, and Mrs. Smaldore has had experience with the event for around 7 years. The club initiates the event during both the spring and fall. By the end of the event, the truck is normally full, and Mrs. Smaldore says that “[she anticipates] getting a good amount of donations again”. The club members can also collect donations if community members cannot come to the event on Saturday.
Aditi Chintapalli, an officer of Habitat for Humanity, explains that her favorite part about the “Stuff a Truck” event is that “it gives students who are under 16 the ability to participate in Habitat.” Even though students must be at least 16 years old to work on a Habitat construction site, as regulated by the Habitat International guidelines, they can still contribute during the “Stuff a Truck” event.
The fundraiser provides a great opportunity to to serve the community. Not only do community members give away items that they no longer use, but they also give to those in need, as the proceeds from the event will go towards helping other Habitat organizations.
After the event, the Habitat for Humanity club will begin planning their spring break trip to Blount County, Tennessee, and they feel excited for the endless pathway of possibilities ahead.