Holiday outreach initiatives planned

Members of the University community will have the opportunity to share the holiday spirit through a series of community service initiatives and special events planned for December and January.

University community members may write greetings to military troops who will be in service and away from home this holiday season by visiting the 100 level of the Frist Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. Greeting cards and stationery will be available. Cards and letters can also be dropped off at the Graduate School on the first floor of Clio Hall or at the Office of Community and Regional Affairs at 22 Chambers Street, Suite 101, until Dec. 2. Each card and letter collected will be included in a care package sent to soldiers through Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to send care packages to service men and women deployed overseas.

A holiday "A Cappella Jam and Toy Drive" performance featuring the Tigressions, Katzenjammers, Tigerlillies, Nassoons, Shere Khan, Roaring 20, Koleinu, Kindred Spirit, Footnotes, Old NasSoul, Tigertones and Wildcats student groups will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, on the Palmer Square Green. The event is free and open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to the YWCA Princeton St. Nicholas Project. 

A "Holiday Hoops" food drive will be held at two Princeton varsity basketball games. University community members can receive free admission with a donation of five nonperishable food items when the women's team plays Lafayette at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, in Jadwin Gymnasium. In addition, attendees can receive a $5 voucher off the price of a general admission ticket with the donation of five nonperishable food items or $10 voucher off the price of a general admission ticket with a donation of 10 nonperishable food items when the men's basketball team takes on Monmouth at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Jadwin. All donations will go to Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

Through Friday, Dec. 18, donations of nonperishable food items and personal hygiene products for the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank will be collected at several campus sites: 1 New South; C230 Engineering Quadrangle; Jadwin Gymnasium; Helm Building; MacMillan Building; Robertson Hall; Dillon Gymnasium; Thomas Lab; 9 Nassau Hall; 200 Elm Drive; Green Hall; 185 Nassau St.; 22 Chambers St.; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; University Chapel; Lawrence Apartments Common Room (Building 14); 701 Carnegie Center; 87 Prospect Ave.; Lewis Library; East Pyne Hall; 171 Broadmead; and the 100 level of Frist. Items especially needed include: canned protein (tuna fish, sardines, salmon and chicken); canned fruit (in light syrup or juice); canned vegetables; rice; pasta; pasta sauce; Parmalat or other shelf-stable milk; cereals and oatmeal (nonsugar); peanut butter; jelly; toothpaste; deodorant; shampoo; soap; and toilet paper. 

New this year is the addition of the Send Hunger Packing Program, which 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 percent reduced-fat milk in an eight-ounce, single-serving size; cereal (individual bowls or boxes); ready-to-eat tuna fish with or without crackers; microwaveable entrees or bowls; peanut butter in jars or individual cups; grape jelly in plastic containers; yogurt smoothie drinks in shelf-stable brick packs; granola bars; and shelf-stable pudding cups.

Additionally, campus and local nonprofit groups are participating in initiatives to collect donations including books, games, gift certificates, food, personal care items, toys, winter jackets and sleepwear. Participating organizations are Anchor House/Angel's Wings, the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, Community House, Health Care Ministry of Princeton, HomeFront, Princeton Nursery School, the YWCA Princeton St. Nicholas Project and Womanspace. For more information about these organizations and donations needed, visit the Community and Regional Affairs website or contact Erin Metro at (609) 258-5144 or

In addition, community members can start saving men's and women's business attire for the annual gently used clothing drive planned for January. Details will be announced at a later date.

The outreach initiatives are sponsored by the Office of Community and Regional Affairs, the Department of Athletics, the Department of Facilities and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.