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60 boxes of surplus office supplies go to local nonprofits

One division charged with generating resources for Cornell has become a model for saving and recycling resources -- and benefiting others in the process.

Over the past couple of years, nearly 280 of the Ithaca-based staff in Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD) have changed offices, either on campus, at Seneca Place or between the two, as the organization has evolved to meet current financial constraints and anticipate future needs. During these moves, staff members were encouraged to "liquidate and rotate" -- to clean out and recycle as much as possible and gather excess office supplies for redistribution.

When finished, 15 moving boxes of hanging file folders, two of regular file folders, 35 of three-ring binders, 10 of desktop organizers and 18 track phones were gathered, piled to the ceiling in the mailroom on the second floor of Seneca Place.

Some of these supplies were reused in AAD, reducing the need to order new office supplies and contributing to a total savings of $72,000 in office supply costs since 2008. Others were repurposed across campus.

But the vast majority of the supplies went to 23 local not-for-profit organizations, from the Ithaca Health Alliance, Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County, to the Tompkins County Red Cross, Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes and Family Reading Partnership.

AAD staff members Ted Wayman, Crystie Lynn Zimmerman and David Harrington organized the supplies for distribution through the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County to organizations that needed them.

"Hats off to David, Ted and Crystie for their hard work in moving these items out of the building and to their new owners," said Julie Featherstone, senior director of AAD administration. "Thanks go to them and to all who participated for making this happen."

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Joe Schwartz