University offices collect gifts for charity

The Office of Community Service and other campus organizations are sponsoring a number of charitable efforts as the holiday season approaches.

Each year during the holiday season faculty members meet to mingle, eat holiday foods and bring items for clothing and toy drives in an event coordinated by OCS’s Holiday Party Committee. The party benefits Miriam’s Closet, Toys for Tots and other charities that help the less fortunate during the holiday season.

Amiko Matsumoto, director of OCS, helps the Holiday Party Committee with the Adopt-a-Family program. Matsumoto receives information about families in the District that need assistance and matches families with different departments and offices interested in adopting a family. Departments then collect money or buy gifts for the families.

Matsumoto said most of the participants in the Adopt-a-Family program are faculty and staff members. Last year GW sponsored more than 50 families with participation from more than 80 University offices, she said.

It is an outpouring of people’s generosity during the holiday time, Matsumoto said. Many of us are blessed and it is nice to share that. Everyone has something they can give and share with others at the holiday time.

The Marvin Center Governing Board and the Residence Hall Association are collaborating to gather clothing for Martha’s Table and Miriam’s Kitchen – two organizations that provide food, clothing and other services to low-income families in the Foggy Bottom and Shaw communities. Students and faculty members can donate to the program by dropping off new or used clothing items in boxes in residence halls.

Students are always looking for ways to give something back to the greater community and this is an easy way to do so, said Steve Sobel, HOVA president.

The University Transportation Administration helps collect donated clothing from each of the 13 residence halls at the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses.

Last year, RHA collected two tons of clothes on campus. Elizabeth Cox, a member of the MCGB, said she hopes the clothing drive will eclipse last year’s collection. She said she urges students to donate little-worn attire.

Look through your clothes for anything that you haven’t worn in the last two months, or that you have outgrown, or has gotten old, Cox said.

GW’s Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps is collecting money donations and toys for Toys for Tots, which encourages people to donate new, unwrapped toys. Members of the ROTC unit distribute the toys to families.

Patricia Hannigan, a Marine officer instructor for GW ROTC said the program has grown each year since the program’s initiation in 1985.

Students have collected Toys for Tots donations on campus every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the H Street entrance of the Marvin Center since Nov. 27. They will continue the charity drive until the end of the semester.

Students also collect toys at University of Maryland, Georgetown University and the faculty holiday party. This is the first year GW is accepting Debit Dollar donations for Toys for Tots.

Christina Bedola, executive aide and Friends of the Library coordinator at Gelman Library, heads a holiday greeting card project. The cards are donated to The GW Hospital and to St. Mary’s Court, a retirement community in Foggy Bottom.

Spending time going around giving greeting cards to people who won’t be as lucky as I am by having my family with me during the holiday time is really special to me, Bedola said.

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