Holiday outreach service 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.

Holiday greetings for soldiers

The "Operation Gratitude" campaign will enable campus community members to send special greetings to members of the U.S. armed forces who will be away from home this holiday season. Holiday cards or letters can be sent individually or by a team. Cards and stationery will be available at the 100 level of Frist between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, and Monday, Nov. 24. 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.

Collection drives for food, personal hygiene products and other items

With the donation of two nonperishable food items, organizers of a "Holiday Hoops" food drive will provide free admission to the Princeton men's and women's basketball doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 6. The women host Georgetown University at 2 p.m. at Jadwin Gym, followed by the men's game against Stony Brook University at 4:30 p.m. In addition, free admission will be also available to those who bring two nonperishable food items to the Princeton women's basketball game vs. Binghamton University at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. All donations go to support the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

From Monday, Dec. 1, to Wednesday, 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, A Level; C232 Engineering Quadrangle; Jadwin Gym; Helm Building; MacMillan Building; Robertson Hall; West College; Lewis Thomas Lab; Nassau Hall, Room 9; 200 Elm Drive; 185 and 194 Nassau St.; Digital Print Center, 201 Nassau St.; 22 Chambers St.; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; 701 Carnegie Center; Lewis Library, Room 241; two locations at Guyot Hall, atrium and Room 112; two locations at 171 Broadmead (University Now Nursery School and Office of Information Technology); and the 100 level of Frist.

The following items are especially needed: canned protein (tuna, sardines, salmon and chicken); low-sodium soups; canned fruit (in 100 percent juice); whole grains; canned vegetables (spinach, carrots, yams, peas and tomoatoes); rice; whole-grain pasta; pasta sauce; beans; nuts; crackers; gravy; herbs or spices; vinegar; mustard; Parmalat or other shelf-stable milk; cereals (Fiber One, Cheerios); salad dressing (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 Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, Health Care Ministry of Princeton, HomeFront, One Simple Wish, Princeton Human Services, Princeton Nursery School, Princeton Young Achievers, SAVE, 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

Additional efforts

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, and Conference and Event Services.