'Don't be a thingist,' said Erasmus Student Network Lithuania in December 2017 and encouraged exchange students studying in Lithuania to donate various goods for an honourable cause.
Leaving country and leaving things
After a long autumn semester buying clothes, kitchen utensils and books to make their rooms and flats in Lithuania a little bit more like home, international students had a chance to make a good use of their things by donating them to those who really need.
Before leaving Lithuania and going home, students were donating things they won’t be using anymore or taking back to their countries. Students mostly donated clothes and shoes. Kitchen and home utensils like cups, kettles, pans and cutlery were a common donation as well.
Initiative came from students
ESN Lithuania came up with the idea to gather and later on donate things from Erasmus and exchange students because all volunteers of the network saw how many things students leave when they departure from Lithuania after their exchange semester. Moreover, students themselves were often asking where they could leave things they don't need, as throwing them away after using only a couple of months seemed like a waste.
Social campaign ‘Don't be a thingist’ was running for both spring and autumn semesters in 2017. Both times it engaged students from more than 6 higher education institutions in 2 cities.
Big universities and small colleges alike gathered many good quality items for people who cannot afford them. With the help of platform www.aukokdaiktus.lt, the donated goods reached people in Vilnius and Kaunas.
ESN Lithuania and www.aukokdaiktus.lt started their partnership in 2012 and since then organized a couple of similar social campaigns.
Not the only social campaign
‘Don't be a thingist’ was organized as a part of the project SocialErasmus by Erasmus Student Network. The project is encouraging international students not only to explore the culture and country they are studying at but also to leave a piece of them in it by helping those in need or getting involved in various volunteering activities.
The project, as well as the ‘Don't be a thingist’ campaign is continuously getting more awareness and attracting more students. Thus, the events will continue upcoming semester. International students can join Social Inclusion days, together with ESN volunteers visit various animal shelters and centres of people with disabilities, enrich local community by volunteering for different causes, and, again, before they leave, donate things to others.
Local students are also very welcome to join SocialErasmus events and volunteer. More information and news about the events can be found on ESN Lithuania Facebook page.
Written by Laura Klusaitė