Under the warming sun of early summer on Friday, May 18, nearly 20 members of the women’s rowing team wrestled piles of mattresses off of a trailer and into a storage unit next to Marietta’s Tractor Supply Company on Gross Street.
Approximately 200 mattresses, along with the same amount of dressers, were donated by Marietta College from Parsons Hall to St. Vincent DePaul, the charitable organization affiliated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church. St. Vincent DePaul uses the storage unit to collect household items to be made available for members of the community. The unit is lined with lamps, couches, dishes, and now mattresses.
Jim King, a member of St. Mary’s and a volunteer for St. Vincent DePaul, said that the items they’ve collected are available to anyone in the local area, free of charge. He continues in saying their goal is to provide basic furniture pieces to those in need. These mattresses, part of one the largest donations they’ve received, will ensure that community members are not sleeping on a bare floor.
“You don’t have to be a member of our church to receive any of the items we have. You just have to contact St. Mary’s and we’ll arrange everything,” King said.
St. Vincent DePaul has received donations from Marietta College in the past, including shelves from the former Dawes Memorial Library, but this haul from Parsons is larger than normal for the organization.
In moving the mattresses and dressers, the women’s crew, along with four student employees from the campus’s physical plant, volunteered their services for the afternoon. The women are still in season and will leave for New Jersey to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship next week.
Kelli Barnette ’12 (Parkersburg, W.Va.), a member of the Varsity Eight, is a former resident of Parsons Hall and said it is a positive gesture on the part of Marietta College to ensure these pieces are not going to waste.
“I think it’s really nice what the College is doing,” she said. “We wanted to help after all the support the school has given us. It feels good to give back.”
For the women’s crew, this act of charity serves as one of many. In past years the women have also lent their time to the Mid-Ohio Valley Humane Society, the American Red Cross, and the Sternwheel Festival. Barnette said they tackled the mattress move by dividing themselves into their boats for some final bonding before the upcoming championship.
As for her experience in Parsons, Barnette laughs at the memories from her sophomore year.
“I hated Parsons! It’s about time for it to be torn down, but I am excited for the new dorm,” she said. “I can’t wait to see it.”
Parsons is scheduled to be razed starting at the end of May and the location will become a new parking lot for the College. Construction began on Harrison Hall in May 2011 and College officials anticipate it opening in time for the students when they return in August.
St. Vincent DePaul can be reached through St. Mary’s Catholic Church at (740) 373-3643.