University departments, offices and individual employees can bring holiday cheer to families and residents in Mercer County by contacting the social service agencies listed below. Each agency has different holiday projects and the donations are customized to the needs and wishes of those being served by the agency.
Holiday Outreach Initiative
We invite you to join with your colleagues at Princeton University to help make the season bright for local families, individuals and agencies who are in need during the holidays.
Whether you want to participate individually or as a group, there is someone who can use your help.
Below is a list of local agencies and special initiatives that will help you to connect with those in need during the holiday season.
If you have any questions, please contact Erin Metro at (609) 258-5144 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Operation Gratitude - Heros for Heroes
Help us send special greetings to our service men and women who will be away from home this holiday season. Gather your colleagues to form a team or participate on your own to write holiday greeting cards or letters. The team or individual who delivers the most cards and letters to the Frist Campus center by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28 will receive lunch of either Princeton’s famous Hoagie Haven or Slice Between! (Up to $100 value).
Need cards or stationery? Stop by the Frist Campus Center, 100 level between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27 or Wednesday, November 28 and we’ll provide everything you need. Want to print your own card and personalize it? Just choose a card from the links provided below. No envelopes are necessary.
Each card and letter collected will be included in a care package that will be sent to our soldiers overseas through the non-profit organization Operation Gratitude. All cards and letters MUST be dropped off no later than November 28 to ensure enough time for the greetings to reach our troops. Greetings should not be sealed. For more information contact Olivia Martel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holiday "A Cappella Jam" Toy Drive with performances by Princeton University A Cappella and local singing groups. To be held on Princeton's Palmer Square Green, Friday, December 7th, 6 - 8 p.m. Free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to the YWCA Princeton St. Nicholas Project. For more information, go to www.princeton.edu/odus.
"Holiday Hoops" Food Drive
Bring a non-perishable food item and receive a voucher for $4 off the price of game day admission*, when the Princeton University Men's basketball team takes on Drexel, Saturday, December 8, 2 p.m. at Jadwin Gym.
Receive Free admission when you bring two non-perishable food items to the Princeton University Women's basketball game vs. UMBC on Sunday, December 2 at 2 p.m. AND Hofstra on Wednesday, December 5, 7 p.m. both games will be held in Jadwin Gym. All donations go to support the Friends of Mercer Street Food Bank.
The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank has been at the forefront of the fight to end hunger in the greater Mercer County area, supplying food to nearly 50 pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens for nearly two decades.
Collection: Monday, November 26 through Wednesday, December 19. Collection boxes will be available at the following locations: Nassau Hall Room 9; New South; E-Quad Room C232; Jadwin Gym; Helm Building; Robertson Hall; 22 Chambers Street; Frist Campus Center 100 level; Princeton Plasma Physics Lab; Lewis Thomas Lab; West College; 200 Elm Drive; Lewis Library; 701 Carnegie Center; 171 Broadmead; 185 Nassau Street; University - N.O.W. Day Nursery; and the MacMillan Building.
Most needed food and home and beauty products: Canned protein (tuna fish, sardines, salmon, or chicken), canned fruit (in light syrup or juices), canned vegetables, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, Parmalat or other shelf stable milk, cereals, oatmeal, pancake mix (non-sugar), peanut butter, jelly, dish and laundry soap, soaps and body wash, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, feminine products. Send Hunger Packing Program provides school aged children in need with nutritionally sound, easy-to-open meals to get them through the weekend. Items needed include: shelf stable 2% reduced fat milk in 8 oz single serving size, cereal – individual bowls or boxes, Starkist Tuna to Go or equivalent, Bumble Bee Tuna Salad with Crackers to Go or equivalent, Chef Boyardee Microwaveable Bowls or equivalent, Campbell or Progresso Microwaveable Bowls or equivalent, Hormel Completes Entrees or equivalent, peanut butter – 18 oz., Jif to Go – little peanut butter cups, grape jelly in plastic containers – 14 to 18 oz., Yo On The Go – yogurt smoothie drink in shelf stable brick packs, granola bars, shelf stable pudding cups.
Please note: We cannot accept home-canned food, open packages, expired baby food, or any kind of glass container. Thank you.
Hurricane Sandy Relief Organization
If you would like to support communities impacted by the storm please consider giving a cash donation to one of the organizations below. Money allows relief agencies the greatest flexibility in providing most needed items.
- Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund: https://sandynjrelieffund.org/index.html
- American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy
- Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties: http://www.foodbankmoc.org
- Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton: http://www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org
- United Way Sandy Recovery Fund: https://donate.unitedwaynyc.org/page/contribute/uwsandyrecovery
Anchor House/Angel's Wings
Anchor House works with homeless, runaway and abused children and youth (from birth to 21 years old) to enable them to utilize their strengths and the support of their families and communities to help ensure a stable and safe living environment.
Most Needed Items:
Pajamas (all sizes)
Other Gift Ideas: Gift certificates: local eateries, book stores, Walmart, Target, Quaker Bridge Mall, AMC Movie Theater, music store, Home Depot, Payless Shoes, Best Buy, Hamilton Bowling Lanes, Holiday Roller Rink, Kendall Park Roller Rink, AC Moore, Game Stop; Household items: laundry basket, detergent (regular and front loading), Tupperware with lids, storage bins, mops and brooms, blankets, twin size comforter, full size comforter; Personal care items: feminine hygiene supplies, hair brushes, combs, lotion, hand sanitizer, deodorant sticks (male and female), tissues, Dove soap, diapers (all sizes), Pull-Ups (all sizes), baby wipes, shampoo, conditioner, African American hair products, hair gel; Art and Educational items: crayons and markers, colored pencils, construction paper, art kits, stencils, paint, coloring books, children's cookbook, poster board, journals, pens, pencils, fabric, sewing notions, crochet needles, yarn, crochet books, tie die kits; Games: board games, PC games (children and teens), video games (rated E); Clothing: small socks,underwear and undershirts (all sizes), small boy clothing, plus-size clothing (male and female).
How: Gifts can be dropped off at the St. Francis Medical Center located at 601 Hamilton Ave., Crean Hall, 3rd Floor, Trenton, NJ 08629, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Volunteer: Help sort donations, wrap gifts, or give out holiday baskets.
Contact: Mereides Delgado, (609) 989 - 1625, email@example.com
The Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton
The Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton serves some 1,400 families and individuals each month from two accessible locations. Our core program areas are: Homelessness Prevention, which stabilizes households under financial strain by providing emergency utilities payments, rent and security deposit assistance, and mortgage assistance; Hunger Prevention, which makes fresh, heart-healthy foods accessible to families in need; and Workforce Development, which provides on-site job training, job search, and life skills mentoring for up to 60 welfare-to-work participants per year.
Other Gift Ideas: Personal care products: shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, razors, shaving cream, aftershave lotion, hand and body lotion, feminine hygiene products.
How: Please drop off holiday items Monday–Thursday, 1:30–4 p.m. at The Crisis Ministry office which is located in the basement of Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau St. (behind Richardson Auditorium). To arrange drop-off other than times listed above please contact Mark Smith at (609) 396 - 9355 ext. 26.
Contact: Alicia Morrison, (609) 396-2227, firstname.lastname@example.org
Community House, a student volunteer program of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University, is partnering with Princeton Young Achievers to provide students with learning materials. Princeton Young Achievers (PYA) began in 1993 in partnership with the Princeton Regional Schools, two sponsors of affordable housing in Princeton and concerned parents. The mission of the group was to provide constructive after-school activities for under-resourced youth in neighborhood learning centers. Today, PYA serves about 100 elementary school children in after-school programs at three Learning Centers in the Princeton area. PYA also partners with the community in special projects and other activities that increase children's academic self-confidence and love for learning.
Most Needed Items:
Games (Connect Four, Chess, Checkers, Mancala, Hangman, Mad Libs)
Arts and Craft Supplies (origami paper, drawing paper, cra-pas, watercolors, yarn, crochet hooks, paper airplane books, origami books)
Other Gift Ideas: Pretend play items: phones, cash registers, play food; a container of Lego people, electric pencil sharpeners, a puppet theater, basic calculators, hula hoops, and jump ropes.
Volunteer: Join Community House in tutoring middle and high school students. If interested email email@example.com or call (609) 258-6136.
Contact: Marjorie Young, (609) 258-1871, firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Care Ministry of Princeton
The Health Care Ministry of Princeton is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting the elderly in our community. The ministry provides free services that enable the elderly to remain in their homes as long as it is safely possible. The organization’s services include health-related transportation, food shopping and friendly visiting.
Most Needed Items:
ShopRite and McCaffrey's Gift Certificates
Books of Postage Stamps
Other Gift ideas: Gift certificates: Rite Aid, CVS
How: Donations can be dropped off at 22 Chambers Street, Suite 101 or mailed to P.O. Box 1517, Princeton, NJ, 08542 or to arrange drop off e-mail email@example.com or call (609) 921-8888.
Volunteer: Help is needed year round to give clients a ride to appointments or other health related needs, grocery shop for an elderly client or take them grocery shopping, visit one of our elderly clients, spend a few hours with a family member to give the family caregiver a break, computer assistance, website projects or general office help.
Contact: Carol Olivieri, (609) 921-8888, firstname.lastname@example.org
HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Mercer County by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community. It is committed to lessening the immediate pain of homelessness and to helping families with children become self-sufficient. They work to give their clients skills and opportunities to find employment at a living wage and advocate for increasing the availability of adequate affordable housing.
Most Needed Items:
Personal Care and Hygiene Items
Diapers (large sizes, 3 - 5)
Other Gift Ideas: Clothing: socks and undergarments for children ages 2 - 14, new or gently use coats; Personal care items: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, feminine hygiene products; Newborn baby items: receiving blankets, sleepers size 0 to 12 months, diapers of all sizes; Kitchen supplies: cooking utensils, pots, pans, dishes, cups, flatware; Bedroom items: bed linens, pillows, blankets, mattress covers (twin and double sizes); Bathroom items: towels, plus anything that makes a house a home.
How: Items can be dropped off at 701 Carnegie Center Lobby or 1880 Princeton Avenue, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., or Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Volunteer: Be a Santa’s helper and get gifts ready to distribute (December 5 - 21 weekdasy)
Contact: Stephanie Shih, (609) 989-9417 x 133, Stephanies@homegontnj.org.
Princeton Nursery School
Princeton Nursery School is a small, private, nonprofit, educational child care facility that provides childcare and preschool for children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 5 years. Since its founding in 1929, Princeton Nursery School’s mission is to provide a nurturing and developmentally appropriate preschool program at an affordable cost for working families.
Most Needed Items:
Other gift ideas: Toys for boys and girls ages 2 1/2 to 5 years (popular items include: art making materials, puzzles, building blocks); Gift Cards: local super markets, e.g., ShopRite.
How: Items can be dropped off at 22 Chambers Street, Suite 101 or the Princeton Nursery School, 78 Leigh Ave., Princeton.
Volunteer: Be a classroom or office assistant. Volunteer one time or on a regular basis.
Contact: Wendy Cotton, (609) 921-8606, email@example.com
Womanspace provides options and works to decrease the isolation and increase the safety for victims of domestic violence. They are a nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for women in crisis. Clients come from all geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, racial and religious backgrounds and present a diversity of needs - from the emergency need for safety to the long-term need for housing and counseling.
Most Needed Items:
Games for Boys and Girls ages 13 - 18
Other gift Ideas: Gift cards allow the freedom that most of our clients have not experienced. Women are able to get what they need for themselves and their children (Target, Walmart, phone, gas,grocery, Kmart, Sears, Dick's Sporting Goods, AC Moore, Kohl's, JC Penney); New items for women: sleepwear, small and medium underwear and bras, sweat suits, slippers, new sneakers, curling irons, umbrellas, winter boots, T-shirts, nail care and polish, makeup, perfume, hair styling products, gloves, hats, scarves, address books, wallets, calendars, journals, pens and pencils; New items for infants to 10 years old: modeling clay, dress-up clothes, remote control cars, Lego sets for older children, Play School toys for newborn to age 3, trucks, cars, trains, book bags, jewelry/special things boxes, finger paints, Play-Doh and accessories, interactive games and board games, Etch-A-Sketch, basketballs, soccer balls, dolls (especially African American and Latina), journals, pens and pencils, craft and paint kits, snow boots, new sneakers, sleep wear (especially size 4T to 5), slippers, underwear; New items for boys and girls ages 11-16: sleepwear, slippers, underwear, iPods, MP3 players, Nintendo DS, new sneakers ( all sizes), snow boots, book bags, hand held video games and cartridges, sweat suits and jeans, winter and spring coats, playing cards, electronic games, basketballs, soccer balls, dolls (especially African American and Latina), journals with pens and pencils, modeling clay, gloves, hats and scarves, craft paint, paint kits, model kits, interactive and board games, computer games and drawing paper.
**Wrapping paper, scotch tape, gift bags, ribbon and gift tags are also needed.**
How: Please drop off holiday donations between Dec. 3 and Dec. 14, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., 1860 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville.
Volunteer: Volunteers are needed for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault teams. For more information visit http://www.womanspace.org/ or contact Susan Adams at (609) 394-0136.
Contact: Althea Jones, (609) 394-9000, firstname.lastname@example.org
YWCA Princeton “St Nicholas Project”
Participants in The St. Nicholas Project are matched with a Princeton family and purchase gifts and a supermarket gift certificate for food. The Project allows parents to create the magic of Christmas for their children. Having a gift given to a child by a stranger (however well meaning) cannot compare to the feeling of waking up on Christmas Day to find that Santa came to their house. The magic of Christmas is an invaluable gift to these children and their parents. Thank you for keeping the magic alive!
What: Email Jill Jachera to be matched with a family. Provide her with the following information:
1) Your current contact information (name, email and phone).
2) Size of family you wish to be matched with (small, medium, or large).
3) Gender preference of children, if you have one.
4) If you do not wish to adopt an entire family but would like to donate to the program; books, pajamas, hats, gloves, or money will be accepted. All items will be distributed to St. Nicholas families.
How: All items MUST be dropped off on Monday, Dec. 17, 8 a.m.– 12 noon, in the APR (all purpose room) of the YWCA located on the corner of Rt. 206 and Paul Robeson Place.
Contact: Jill Jachera, email@example.com
Participation in the Holiday Outreach Initiative is voluntary. Any contribution made to local organizations are on behalf of the individual donor(s), and should not be represented to outside agencies as a donation from Princeton University.
The Holiday Outreach Initiative is sponsored by the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, Office of Human Resources, Department of Athletics, the Graduate School, the Facilities Organization, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Hoagie Haven.