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 special 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. Friday, Dec. 2, will receive lunch from Hoagie Haven (up to $100 in value). Cards and stationery will be available at the 100 level of Frist between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. 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 several student a cappella groups will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, 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. For more information, visit the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students website.

Organizers of 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 Lafayette at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at Jadwin Gymnasium. In addition, free admission is available to those who bring two nonperishable food items to the Princeton women's basketball game vs. Delaware at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at Jadwin Gym. All donations go to support the Friends of Mercer Street Food Bank.

Through Friday, Dec. 16, 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; C230 Engineering Quadrangle; Jadwin Gym; Helm Building; MacMillan Building; Robertson Hall; West College; Lewis Thomas Lab; 9 Nassau Hall; 200 Elm Drive; 185 Nassau St.; 22 Chambers St.; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; 701 Carnegie Center; Lewis Library; two locations at 171 Broadmead (University Now Nursery School and Office of Information Technology); McCosh Health Center; 26 College Road; 180, 262, 294 and 306 Alexander Road; and the 100 level of Frist. The following items are especially needed: 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/Princeton Young Achievers, 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 Graduate School, the Department of Athletics, the Department of Facilities, the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students, and Hoagie Haven.