‘Clean Sweep’ generates hundreds of high-quality donations

clean sweep at the dunes

Clean Sweep at The Dunes, an annual spring cleaning campaign for residents of the Naples community, celebrated its eighth year with volunteers collecting and delivering hundreds of high-quality items to support Guadalupe Resale Shop.

This year’s donations included unused furniture still in the box, collectibles, original paintings, pottery, home decor, tableware, clothing and more. Residents of The Dunes donated enough items to fill multiple vehicles, including a box truck. After processing, items will be priced and sold at Guadalupe Resale Shop, which generates financial support for educational programs at Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.

“There are so many generous individuals and families here at The Dunes, and they support a variety of charitable causes throughout the year,” said Phyllis Ettinger, a Resale Shop volunteer who coordinates Clean Sweep at The Dunes. “We all have unused or underappreciated items in our homes that we no longer need or want, and if you know an item will support a great cause, it makes it that much easier to donate.”

Each year, Guadalupe Resale Shop generates more than $1 million in sales revenue that helps fund academic programs for children from birth through college. Guadalupe Center is recognized as a national model for nonprofits that rely on philanthropy as the primary funding source for education programs. The organization operates a nationally accredited Early Childhood Education Program, After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program and college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program, as well as the family literacy Smart Start Program. Guadalupe Center also operates the Collier County School District’s Teenagers as Parents Program in Immokalee.

“Guadalupe Center is using education to build a cycle of prosperity in Immokalee, and every sale at the Resale Shop helps support life-changing educational opportunities,” said Resale Shop Manager Greethel Leon. “The Dunes has been a great partner for many years and our volunteers are continually impressed with the quality of items that residents are donating.”

Residents of The Dunes, a community of high-rise condominiums, hauled donations by hand, by cart and by wagon. Clean Sweep at The Dunes is one of the largest organized community collections to support Guadalupe Resale Shop, but Ettinger has developed a roadmap for other communities looking to support a local cause. Steps include:

  • Asking the community manager or HOA leadership if it’s OK to collect donations at the clubhouse.
  • Picking a mutually agreeable event date.
  • Alerting residents via a community newsletter or email.
  • Posting flyers at the clubhouse.
  • Organizing volunteers to receive and sort donations on Clean Sweep day.
  • Transporting donations to Guadalupe Resale Shop during drop-off hours.

“It is a little bit of a challenge, but people are so willing to help and contribute,” Ettinger said. “We do have a system now, so if anyone is interested, I am more than happy to help them get a Clean Sweep going in their community.”