Notre Dame Senior, Andy Boes, is changing lives for the better, whether he is in South Bend or Peru.
From ND Works, Sept 2011, Gene Stowe
“One of the needs is these non-food necessity items,” Boes says. “The food pantries are starting to distribute things like that. I was made aware of this need for non-food items.”
And a recycling initiative started with the Morris Inn and quickly spread to surrounding hotels. Andy convinced the Morris to donate their personal care item waste. While interning with United Way of St. Joseph County during the spring of 2011 Andy came up with the idea. He returned as a volunteer in the fall of 2012 and stayed committed to United Way and the soap recycling throughout his senior year of 2013. Andy continues to support and promote the personal care item reclamation today. Click here to read about Andy's soap and shampoo recycling program.
Housekeeping staff salvage gently used items in containers and contact Andy for pick up. Then Boes collects the items, drops them off at United Way, separates the products after which they are distributed through the People Gotta Eat food pantry network. This program works alongside United Way’s initiative People Gotta Eat. PGE is a cooperative effort between more than 16 of the county’s food pantries to address food insecurity through collaboration and coordinated fundraising efforts. The various food pantries have direct access to clients that have utilized the toiletries and PGE works as the distributors of the products raised by the program. The process has reclaimed over a ton of product from the landfill and put the soaps and shampoos into the hands of those most in need.
Andy graduates Notre Dame this year with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics and a minor in Community Service. The next chapter of Andy’s life includes service in the Peace Corp.
Andy believes the tenant that “charity is at the heart of the Church.” This program relates to each of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Part of Notre Dame’s stated mission is to “cultivate in its students…a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice, and oppression that burdens the lives of so many.” Andy embodies this mission, regardless of whether it is here in St. Joseph County, back home in Washington State or for the next few years in Peru.