University Relations and Marketing

Dennis Rea, Jackets and Company, 657-2121
Kathy Kotecki, Office for Community Involvement, 657-1660
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269

April 22, 2009

Efforts to recycle college texts benefits local nonprofit groups

Big Brothers and Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and Tumbleweed get funds from MSU Billings Holiday Help campaign

MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — The knowledge, historical perspective and theory contained in college textbooks are gifts that can keep on giving if those books are recycled. And thanks to a Christmas partnership between two entities at Montana State University, that recycling effort generated dollars for some local nonprofits as well.

The Holiday Help campaign, a collaborative effort by the MSU Billings Office of Community Involvement and Jackets and Company (the university’s bookstore) to encourage textbook recycling during buy-backs last December, netted $2,183 for three local nonprofit groups.

Based on the number of students who sold back their books and put tokens into preferred groups to support, the money generated through the Holiday Help campaign went to:

  • Big Brothers and Sisters: $972
  • Habitat for Humanity: $614.40
  • Tumbleweed: $597.60

In addition, the campaign netted $216 for the MSU Billings book emergency loan fund.

Dennis Rea, Director of Jackets and Company, announced the totals recently during a special event with representatives of each agency. He said student involvement to encourage donations helped in the success of the effort. Student groups were given the opportunity to represent a particular group and worked with Jackets and Company to solicit support when books were returned for buy-back last semester.

“Thanks to their help, we doubled what students gave us for buy-back last year,” Rea said.

Agency representatives, who were surprised by the news, said the funds would be put to good use.

“This will support a match for a whole year,” said Becky Webber, a representative of Big Brothers and Sisters.

Laurie Maddock and Heidi Wittmayer from Tumbleweed said the funds would supplement the day-to-day operations, school supplies and other items the nonprofit group uses in work with runaway teenagers.

“We have so many needs. This will help a lot.” Maddock said.

Not only did the increased textbook recycling effort help the local agencies, Rea said, it helped current MSU Billings students. Books sold to Jackets and Company are resold the following semester at reduced pricing and benefit all students by providing an alternative to high cost of textbooks, he said.

Jackets and Company crew with Habitat for Humanity representatives
Kara Dornish, book buyer for Jackets and Company, stands with students Jen Wesen, Darcy Mohar and Jennifer Johnson; Debra Dusenbury from Habitat for Humanity; and Dennis Rea from Jackets and Company.

Jackets and Company staff with Big Brothers Big Sisters representative
Kara Dornish, book buyer for Jackets and Company, stands with student Kelsey Brown; Becky Webber from Big Brothers and Sisters; student Claire Slagel; and Dennis Rea from Jackets and Company.

Jackets and Company staff, MSUB students and Tumbleweed representative
Kara Dornish, book buyer for Jackets and Company, stands with students Codie Wahrman and Jackie Alisch; Heidi Wittmayer and Laurie Maddock from Tumbleweed; and Dennis Rea from Jackets and Company.

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