Rather than rotting away in a local landfill, a trove of old student belongings from McKeon and McMahon Halls were donated to several local shelters and nonprofits in May.

Spearheading the donation effort was Olga Baez, an administrative assistant in Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s residential life office.

“I grew up in the Bronx … It doesn’t make sense for us not to coordinate with different nonprofits to make sure that these items are going to people in need,” said Baez. “We’re supporting the Bronx—we’re supporting different organizations that are able to help people.”

About 30 plastic bags of clothes, enough residential hall items to fill a truck, and several bags of nonperishable items were distributed to six nonprofit organizations across New York City. Lightly used mini fridges were given to high school seniors at the Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology and the Mott Haven Educational Campus. Other donated items include kitchenware, cleaning supplies, bed linens, hangers, shoes, storage containers, mirrors, and microwaves.

In years past, students dropped off clothing donations in Goodwill bins and nonperishable snacks at the end of the academic year. But this year—the third consecutive year that Lincoln Center has hosted a student donation drive—is different.

“This year, we went a little bigger,” Baez said. “We allotted one of the student lounges [in McMahon]for all the items to be donated there. We used one of the student lounges at McKeon as well.”

Some items were shuttled via Ram Van to a homeless shelter for mothers and their children in the Bronx. Others were given to Grad Bag, an organization that gives lightly used residential hall items to incoming first-year college students from low-income households.

Bridge Haven Family Traditional Residence, a transitional shelter for families, was another recipient of the donated household items.

“The goal is for them to move into their own space,” Baez said. “That’s why a lot of the items, like the kitchenware, mirrors, and microwaves, are so useful for them.”

Emaeyak Ekanem, the executive director of Christ Disciples Int’l Ministries, Inc., a church in the Bronx that received some of the donations, said many of the people in the church’s community “don’t have access” to these household items that so many people take for granted.  Fordham’s donation, he said, “helps to further our mission of providing for the needy in the community.”


Taylor is a visual storytelling strategist in Fordham University's marketing and communications department, where she documents University life through photography and video. Since joining Fordham in 2018, she has served as a writer, photographer, videographer, and social media manager, dividing her time between University Marketing and Communications and the Office of the President. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stony Brook University's School of Communication and Journalism and her master's degree in public media from Fordham University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her work has appeared on NPR, NBC New York, and amNewYork METRO.