On Sept. 6 students flocked to the lower cafeteria in search of school supplies, housewares, and clothing—all for free. Several portable tables were arranged into a makeshift store. Cardboard boxes containing dishes and utensils were displayed on the floor. There was even a few television sets.
Elaine Gabler, a customer service representative at VIU’s welcome centre, organized the event. “It’s a great opportunity for students who need a little help, and if the University community can help our students I think it’s a good thing,” she says.
Brittany Caldwell, a Professional Baking student at VIU, was amazed by the range of items at the free store. “I got a box of beans and oysters, three casserole dishes, three muffin tins, a closet organizer, a toaster oven, a muffin cookbook, and a freezer bag to help carry it to my car,” Caldwell says. She attended the free store last year and says that she will return again with donations. “I liked the idea, and I will definitely be donating next year.”
There were several students on the hunt for vintage clothing pieces. “I was looking for unique clothes and I had a bunch of kitchen stuff to donate. It’s usually because VIU has such a diverse student population…there are unusual things that turn up in places like this,” says a treasure hunter named Jonathon.
Gabler says that she will be putting on the event as long as students can benefit from it.