Crew Team Fundraises with ‘Heavy Lifting’

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Robin Holland had a common problem — a small job requiring big muscles. So when she first read about Rent-a-Rower on the social media site Nextdoor, she wasted no time contacting Georgia Tech Crew for her heavy lifting. 

“Moving stuff” is Rent-a-Rower’s most requested service, but not the only one, says Jacob Sutton, a second-year mechanical engineering major and fundraising officer for Tech’s rowing club. Past jobs also include painting, heavy-duty yard work, and even babysitting. “It’s basically just any kind of odd job — labor-intensive kinds of things like you might hire the neighborhood kid to do,” he says. 

Crew’s Rent-a-Rower service dates back to 2015 when the club — the largest on campus with more than 100 members — was looking for a way to raise money, Sutton says. They had heard of clubs at other schools offering similar services and decided to give it a try as a way for members to offset the cost of dues. 

“We have some of the highest dues of any club at Tech,” Sutton points out, citing the high costs of equipment, travel, and coaching for the team. “This is a way for people to avoid having to pay out of their own pocket, and instead go out and earn it.” 

Rent-a-Rower’s rate is a flat $12.50 per hour, per person, and there’s no charge for travel to and from jobs, Sutton says, although they prefer not to go too far afield because of their busy schedules of classwork and rowing practice. The more advanced notice and the bigger the window of opportunity customers can give for doing a job, the better, he adds. “We’re never going to outright turn anything down if we can make it work.”

The club gets a lot of repeat business, Sutton says. That was the case with Holland, who manages an apartment complex not far from Tech and has used Rent-a-Rower twice to move items from one furnished unit to another. 

“Everything they did, they did quickly,” she says. “It wasn’t like, OK, I’m going to mosey on down with this one pillow – they would load their arms full where they almost couldn’t see over it. I’ve hired other people who would take 30 minutes to drive in one nail if they were charging by the hour!” 

Holland, whose father and husband both graduated from Georgia Tech, also tipped the students (although it’s not required), and because she feels an affinity for the Institute, she also donated $200 to the club for their endowment. 

“That’s how impressed I was with these guys,” she says. “The parents of all these kids should
be proud.”

To learn how you can Rent-a-Rower, Sutton says, just email With fall semester just starting, now’s a good time. 

“We’ve got all these Crew members — Georgia Tech students — and most of them are moderately intelligent,” he says wryly. “There are not too many jobs that are too physically or mentally difficult for us to do.” 


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Kristen Bailey
  • Created: 09/06/2017
  • Modified By: Kristen Bailey
  • Modified: 09/06/2017

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