T-shirts, hats, water bottles, tote bags, thumb drives and even toiletries are among the swag attendees encounter around Austin during SXSW every year. Many of the items handed out as swag are the same one sought by homeless shelters and other organizations that collect for those in need. Outside the Austin Convention Center, a small group of people carting burlap sacks and wearing shirts that say “Donate Your Swag” are collecting the items that would otherwise end up left in hotel rooms or abandoned on the convention center floor when attendees go home. At the end of the day, the items will be donated to Austin’s Foundation for the Homeless. The people collecting the swag are a combination of local volunteers and SXSW attendees from a San Francisco company called Medallia. Andrew Nunnelly, who works for Medallia, said the company knew they were going to be attending SXSW Interactive, and decided instead of doing usual tech company thing at SXSW - hosting and attending parties, grabbing a booth at the convention center - they would take a different approach. The group will be outside the convention center again on Sunday to collect unwanted swag, Nunnelly said.
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