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IUP—By the Numbers
A tractor-trailer from Kentucky is filled with furniture for redistribution in thirteen Appalachian states.
Retired IUP employee Rob Lute, right, IUP student Mark Regalla (in orange shirt), and Maintenance Supervisor Larry Miller load a truck with mattresses and chairs.
Going Where It’s Needed
Over the past two years, nearly a dozen campus structures have been demolished to make way for the suites and student amenity spaces of the Residential Revival. Building materials have been recycled when possible and, at least in the early going, furnishings were distributed to other parts of campus or sold at surplus sales.
As time went on and more and bigger buildings were taken down, the ability of the IUP campus and Indiana community to absorb so much surplus furniture waned. Lenny Kasubick and Larry Miller had to do some serious spring cleaning.
Kasubick is associate director of Student Housing Development for the Foundation for IUP, and Miller is maintenance supervisor for the university. When no other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities expressed interest in surplus items from Campus Towers and Esch and Wallace halls, the furniture became the property of the Foundation.
Enter Bridget Anne Gaffney, a student from Phoenixville who was president this past year of the Catholic Student Association at St. Thomas More University Parish. She is a friend of Kasubick’s daughter, Katie Kasubick ’06.
Gaffney, who graduated in May, had regularly used her spring breaks to volunteer in eastern Kentucky. Because she’d helped build houses, she recognized a need for all kinds of furniture donations. “I thought it was a long shot,” she said, “but I asked Mr. Kasubick if there was a chance some of the residence hall furniture could go to Kentucky.”
By the third week of May, nearly two thousand pieces of furniture had been loaded on four tractor trailers belonging to the Christian Appalachian Project. Based in eastern Kentucky, the organization assists more than sixteen hundred charities in thirteen Appalachian states.
The Foundation for IUP donated another thirty-three hundred furniture pieces to local and regional agencies within the commonwealth, including Indiana Fire Department, Salvation Army, Indiana County Community Action Program, and several church camps and centers. Volunteers from local churches came to help load trucks, as did members of the IUP football team.
Stephen Long, executive director of one of the regional recipients—Doubling Gap Center in Newville—told Kasubick and Miller that “IUP’s furniture has been a tremendous blessing to Camp YoliJwa. Our summer church camp facility had been using the same ‘U.S. Army’ wooden bunks in our dormitories since we first began this ministry in 1947. With the generous donation we received from IUP this month, we were able to put one set of your ‘new’ bunk beds in each of our dorm rooms.”
For her part, Gaffney, a Criminology/Pre-law graduate, has gone back to Kentucky, where she will work with the Christian Appalachian Project in a variety of arenas. Eventually, she said, she’ll “pursue a career in juvenile justice or law enforcement,” but, as of now, “Kentucky’s where I need to be.”