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This is no ordinary garage sale

June 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm
By Courtney Dufford

Held during Reunion weekend, the 13th annual Carleton Lighten Up garage sale was once again a success! Lighten Up is no ordinary garage sale. Unwanted items are collected from the Carleton student body and fill the entirety of West Gym, with the proceeds of the sale benefitting three local non-profit organizations: Project Friendship, Special Olympics, and The Key. This year over $30,000 was raised, far exceeding the totals of previous years!

The Lighten Up process begins during finals period when garbage bags are distributed to every dorm room and campus house. After underclassmen pack up and then again once seniors leave, CCCE workers spend two weeks emptying donated items from the college’s dorms and several offices. Then, community volunteers sort and organize the clothing, kitchen items of varied utility, mini fridges, printers, bedding, books, and mirrors in West Gym. At the end of the two sale days, the remaining items are either donated to the Salvation Army or sent to electronics recycling. In addition to saving a gym’s worth of stuff from entering the landfill and generating valuable funds for worthy local non-profits, the Lighten Up garage sale also offers a striking visual of the amount of material we utilize and the waste that we generate.

Fast facts:

  • $30,000 generated for three local non-profit organizations: The Key, Project Friendship, and Special Olympics
  • Hundreds of volunteer hours
  • Over 60 donated floor length mirrors
  • Over 50 donated mini fridges
  • Over 40 donated printers
  • Over 30 donated floor lamps

For more information on the Lighten Up garage sale, please visit

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