This year is Ruta Rauber’s 11th year as a volunteer for the Y’s Dump & Run Community Recycling program. Now that Dump & Run has long outgrown the Y building, Ruta helps out in the kitchen department at the Sale every August at the U of I Stock Pavilion.
As kitchen coordinator, a fun part of the job for Ruta during the Dump & Run Sale is that she gets to help those first-year students figure out what they need to buy for their kitchens. In a global sense, for Ruta, it means not only helping people find great stuff at a fraction of the cost or helping the Y raise funds to support programming, but also about not wasting a single thing if you can help it.
“I take a moment to stand in the doorway of the of the immense space of the Stock Pavilion when we have it all set up. The stands and the ground floor are covered to the inch with furniture, lamps, rugs, bikes, electronic accessories, books, office supplies, etc. So much that it’s impossible to take it all in at once. I stand there and look at it and think this could have easily ended up in the landfill.”
When Ruta is not volunteering at the Y, Ruta works as a studio assistant in the Art Department at Parkland Community College. She is a perpetual student of metalsmithing and ceramics at the college. Ruta says ifyou’re considering volunteering at the Y, do it. You will be warmly welcomed into the fold whether it’s an hour here or there. It’s worth it, she says.