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Poppin’ Some Serious Tags at the Idaho Youth Ranch

Published on May 24, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

(BOISE) One day a year, Broadview University closes its doors for business and opens the window for an opportunity to give back to the community. On Friday, May 17, the campus staff participated in its annual Community Service Day. This year, the campus chose the Idaho Youth Ranch in Boise as its volunteer project recipient.

Community Service Day, Broadview UniversityThe Idaho Youth Ranch (IYR) is a local nonprofit organization primarily associated with its many thrift stores. For those of you familiar with the art of thrift store shopping, this is where the term “poppin’ tags” starts. IYR receives tons upon tons of donated items each year. All of it is collected and brought to the warehouse for sorting, and that is where Broadview University jumped in to help.

A group of 23 converged on the organization’s warehouse—bright and early in the morning—ready to work for the day. Before the caffeine even had a chance to kick in, staff members were assigned to their work stations and the manual labor began.

Community Service Day, Broadview UniversityFor four straight hours—minus a quick 15 minute break—the staff worked on a variety of projects inside and outside of the massive warehouse. One group swept the enormous parking lot outside while the others worked on a variety of projects inside. Amid tons of dirt, dust, books, and boxes upon boxes of various items, the group worked with each other and side-by-side with Idaho Youth Ranch staff. The goal was to sort the variety of donated items into sellables and recyclables.

“There is a method to everything we do,” Stephanie Pachoco, the operations manager at IYR, said. “What cannot be sold is either sent to be recycled and paid for by the pound or sent to other countries for use. Our trash bill is $300,000 a year.”

Community Service Day, Broadview UniversityIn addition to its many thrift stores, IYR also operates the Hays Shelter Home—which is for at-risk youth. The home provides 24-hour emergency care, counseling, and education for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 17 who are homeless, runaways, or victims of abuse and/or neglect. Revenue from all IYR sales helps to fund these services and other IYR programs that help troubled youth and their families. The Boise campus chose IYR based on its commitment to bettering the community.

At the end of the work day, Broadview University’s staff made a considerable dent in the warehouse’s sorting progress. One warehouse worker said boxes that contained clothing items donated so long ago that they were way out of season now were finally on their way to good use. Even the campus’s book brigade of five ended up going through 15 very large crates—leaving IYR staff with nothing left to sort.

Community Service Day, Broadview University“Thank you so much for thinking of Idaho Youth Ranch for your team’s volunteer service,” Leslie Marston, the volunteer coordinator at IYR, said. “You guys did an amazing job. The warehouse supervisor was impressed with the amount of work that you guys accomplished, and she raved about your team’s work ethic and productivity!”

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