Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
Students at the Freestore.
Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford’s Freestore had its grand opening on Sept. 3 at the Level One Lounge in One Market.
The Freestore is open at 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday. The store is run by the Sustainability Office and the Dean of Students Office. Its purpose is to divert waste and help students with the cost of living.
Over 300 students have taken goods from the store in the past two weeks, which shows a “huge need,” said Tyler Britz, the student life and experience coordinator at Laurier.
Desired items are appliances, pots and pans. By the end of the first week, “basically anything with a cord was gone,” said Britz.
Appliances are especially useful to international students, since “you can’t fit a microwave in your suitcase,” said Britz.
Students are allowed to take five household items and three toiletry items per day. The store will always provide free tampons, toothbrushes and toilet paper for students.
“It was so busy the first few days,” said Britz. “We have three storage closets in there and they were overflowing, and now they’re almost empty.”
The items in the Freestore were donated throughout the summer by staff, faculty and members of the community.
“We’re really hoping that students will donate, students that have extra stuff that they don’t need,” said Britz.
The store was designed to help both domestic and international students deal with the inflated economy.
“It’s definitely a great resource for students so that they can save a little bit of money and not have to equip their kitchen with everything,” said Sabina Di Nino, the administrative assistant at Laurier International.
International students “take a whole bunch of stuff and they go, ‘We’ll see you in four months,’ and they bring it all back,” said Britz. The store gives students the opportunity to help others and keep more items out of the landfill.
The Freestore has already saved over 1,200 pounds of waste. Any items besides clothes and food are accepted.
“Don’t throw them out, don’t give them to Value Village,” said Britz. “You can pay it forward and give it to other students at our institutions.”
Donations are accepted at the Level One Lounge’s front desk. If there’s no one around, items can be left in a donation bin in front of the store.
Students can find more information and updates about the Freestore on their Instagram, @lauriergreen.
This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 2 on Thursday, Oct. 5.