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WU seeks help with April 12 service projects

by WU News

On April 12, Wingate University is asking members of the community to help students and employees “give, serve and celebrate.”

More than 500 Wingate University students are expected to spend a portion of the day serving their neighbors as the school marks its annual One Day, One Dog campaign. Most of the activities will involve people on campus or right next door – there are projects at Wingate Elementary, Wingate United Methodist and Wingate Baptist, as well as several on campus.

But four of the volunteer ventures, all collection efforts, will be most successful with help from the broader Union and Anson communities.

The American Red Cross will have a blood drive set up in LaVerne Banquet Hall, on the corner of Camden and Wilson streets, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. Whole blood or “power red” donations will be accepted. Participants can sign up for an appointment via redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Just a short way up McGee Promenade, near the Stegall Administration Building, Be The Match will collect DNA samples via cheek swabs from potential bone-marrow donors. Residents between the ages of 18 and 44 who want to become part of the national bone-marrow registry can drop by, fill out a short form and have their cheek swabbed. That drive will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those not able to give blood or marrow may want to raid their medicine cabinets or junk closets for two more collection efforts, one to support medical missions and another to help keep harmful substances out of the environment.

Near the corner of Elm and Church streets, Southern Environmental Solutions of the Carolinas, a Peachland-based computer and electronics recycler, will collect all kinds of unwanted appliances. Student volunteers will help haul the goods from on-campus locations or unload items from residents’ cars when they pull up.

According to an EPA report, although electronic waste makes up only 2 percent of our garbage, it accounts for 70 percent of the hazardous waste – lead, mercury and other heavy metals – that winds up in our landfills. Steve Lindemen, SESC’s general manager, says “reduce, reuse, recycle” is the basis of his company’s business model.

“We are working with manufacturers to reduce packaging; then we are trying to reuse items if they can be fixed, and finally recycle what is left,” he told a group of students at a recent service-project showcase. SESC refurbishes electronics to sell on eBay, then disassembles items that can’t be repaired and ships various parts to appropriate recyclers. Elements such as cobalt and iron are taken out of batteries, and precious metals are extracted from circuit boards. This so-called “urban mining” not only keeps the waste out of landfills but reduces the need to mine the earth for these elements.

On April 12, area residents can drop off everything from cell phones and chargers to toasters and refrigerators at the SESC truck. There will be a $10 charge to dispose of older televisions or computer monitors with cathode-ray tubes, and for $5 the company will provide a certificate of destruction for surrendered hard drives that contain sensitive data. Otherwise residents can freely dispose of anything with batteries or a cord.

Small items are already being collected at the Information Technology counter in the Ethel K. Smith Library. In addition to appliances, SESC accepts peripheral items, such as keyboards, chargers and cords. Also, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes and their cases will be accepted at the drop-off site between 10 a.m. and noon. For more information, contact SESC at 704-272-0154.

Finally, supplies for medical missions will be collected at the Wingate University School of Pharmacy. Needed items include children’s chewable (not gummies) multi-vitamins, topical hydrocortisone, over-the-counter cough and cold medicine, travel-size soap and shampoo, sandwich bags, and AA and AAA batteries. Pharmacy students are also asking the community to donate Freestyle Precision Neo and Accu-check Guide Test Strips for indigent diabetes patients being treated at the Union County Health Department. Donation boxes will be set up in the lobby of the Levine College of Health Sciences in Wingate and also at the University’s Hendersonville campus location, the Hendersonville Health Science Center, beginning April 3.

In addition to the four collection drives, Wingate University students and employees will take part in eight other service projects. One Day, One Dog is also Wingate’s day of giving to support its annual fund. The volunteer work and fundraising will end with a carnival-style celebration. For details, visit onedayonedog.org.