Whether it is a homemade sweater, childhood t-shirt or an expensive North Face jacket, in two weeks time, lost clothing articles could wind up on the back of a less fortunate person.
Every week students and faculty receive an email from Administrative Assistant Training Officer C.J. Sholler, titled “Lost and Found.” These emails contain lists of items that have been misplaced by students, faculty members and guests, with a description of what the objects look like and the owner’s name if available.
Security allows the cell phones, clothing, credit cards, flash drives and computer cords to sit in the office for two weeks. After that period, if articles are unclaimed, they are given to different departments at VWC.
“Things like notebooks go to the Learning Center and textbooks go to the bookstore,” said Sholler. “Anything like clothes, phones, or blankets will be given to Diane Hotaling in Community Service.”
Items such as sweaters, shirts, gloves and other articles of clothing are never thrown away, despite what students may think. When abandoned clothes stay in the lost and found for over two weeks, regardless of any sentimental value an item may hold, and as long as the articles are in good shape Hotaling will take the clothing back to her office in Community Service.
“I look for unclaimed clothing all year around,” said Hotaling, “but post-October is what is really needed since the annual VWC Homeless Shelter is held in January.”
Students said what Hotaling does is a great benefit to the community. They hate losing things, but they like knowing that good-quality clothes are not being tossed in the dumpster.
“I think it is more resourceful and I like knowing that if I do lose something at least it is being used in a good way,” said freshman Raven Dillard. “Especially since there is a large amount of homeless people in the Hampton Roads area.”
According to the Pilot Online in January 2012, there were 7,625 people in the Hampton Roads area who were homeless. On one hand, the efforts to build more shelters have helped to reduce that number, but there is still a significant number of homeless men and women.
Although students may lose a free shirt that the school handed out before a basketball game or those fuzzy gloves that were a gift from grandma, they can feel comfort knowing their loss is someone else’s gain.