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.

A "Heros for Heroes" campaign will enable campus community members to send greetings to soldiers who will be away from home this holiday season. Holiday cards or letters can be sent individually or by a team. The team or individual who delivers the most cards and letters to the Frist Campus Center by 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, will receive lunch from Hoagie Haven (up to $100 value). Cards and stationery will be available for anyone who needs supplies between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 1 and 2, at the 100 level of Frist. Each card and letter collected will be included in a care package that will be sent to soldiers overseas by the nonprofit organization Operation Gratitude.

A holiday "A Cappella Jam and Toy Drive" performance featuring the Tigressions, the Katzenjammers, the Tigerlillies, the Nassoons, Shere Khan, Roaring 20, Koleinu, Kindred Spirit, the Footnotes, the Tigertones and the Wildcats student groups will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, 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 provide a $4 voucher off the price of a game-day ticket with the donation of a nonperishable food item when the Princeton men's basketball team takes on St. Joseph's at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Jadwin Gymnasium. In addition, free admission will be given to anyone who brings two nonperishable food items to the Princeton women's basketball game vs. Drexel at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Jadwin Gym. All donations go to support the Friends of Mercer Street Food Bank.

Through Friday, Dec. 17, donations of nonperishable food items and personal hygiene products for the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank will be collected at several campus sites: New South; Engineering Quadrangle, Room C230; Jadwin Gym; Helm Building; MacMillan Building; Robertson Hall; Dillon Gymnasium; Lewis Thomas Laboratory; Nassau Hall, Room 9; 200 Elm Drive; Green Hall; 185 Nassau St.; 22 Chambers St.; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; University Chapel; Butler Tract Apartments, Common Room; 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, sardines, salmon and chicken); canned fruit (in light syrup or juice); canned vegetables; rice; pasta; pasta sauce; Parmalat or other shelf-stable milk; cereals, oatmeal and pancake mix (nonsugar); peanut butter; jelly; dish and laundry detergent; soaps and body wash; deodorant; shampoo; conditioner; and feminine products. 

University community members also may support 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 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 Office of 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 Graduate School, the Department of Athletics, the Department of Facilities, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and Hoagie Haven.