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Time nears for another Great Greenwood Giveaway

Nate Schurman, principal of Greenwood Elementary School, says that the last two Great Greenwood Giveaways hosted about 500 people.2 / 3
Greenwood Elementary students, like fifth grader Emily Heil, will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the April 27 Great Greenwood Giveaway to straighten up tables, bag items and help carry things to cars.3 / 3

With the calendar telling us that spring has arrived and with families doing spring cleaning, staff at Greenwood Elementary School thought it would be ideal to hold the 3rd annual Great Greenwood Giveaway.

According to Principal Nate Schurman, the GGG is "a free garage sale that comes from donated items from Greenwood families."

Schurman emphasized that the event, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, at the Greenwood gym, 418 N. 8th St., is not a fundraiser.

The purpose is for students to "...develop a sense of purpose and compassion beyond themselves."

To do this each classroom throughout the school year participates in service projects.

Schurman said that three years ago the staff wanted to find a project that the entire school could do together.

At that time they decided on the GGG, held in early October of 2010 with the second one held in October 2011.

This year it was decided that the event would be held in spring. The main reason, said Schurman, is that making it a spring event allows the school "...more time to reinforce the purpose of the event."

He said that when the GGG was held in the fall, students were just getting back to school, so it felt a bit rushed. This fall the school held a neighborhood raking event and raked 30-40 lawns.

Schurman said so far he likes holding the event in spring, but will make a final decision on the timing of it later.

Schurman says the kids get involved in the event by making flyers, the character council brings them to area businesses, collecting and sorting items into categories, then organizing the items in the gym, and working at the event.

The latter involves straightening tables, bagging and helping to carry out items taken by people to their vehicles.

"The kids are there from the beginning all the way through the end," said Schurman.

He added, "It's a hands on experience but they are also learning from doing it."

During the week prior to the GGG, Greenwood parents drop off donated items; classrooms then sort and place items into a semi-trailer donated by Randy Deiss. On Friday, students and staff spend part of their day moving the items into the gym, organizing and setting up.

"Kids and staff develop a sense of togetherness and they are proud to do something for the community," Schurman said about the event that requires everyone to work together.

Schurman said that about 500 people have come the past two years and noted that they have never run out of items for people. Anything remaining is boxed up and given to Goodwill.

Items that will be available at the GGG include: Clothes, shoes, books, toys, games, household and holiday items.

Schurman says that he has seen a lot of dishware, silverware, clothing -- some almost new -- lots of shoes, books, CDs, and great games for kids.

It's a one stop shop," he added. "The best thing is to offer something that people need."

Jillian Dexheimer

Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.