Holiday giving opportunities fulfill wishes and needs

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Dec. 3, 2015

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Join the Emory community in giving back this holiday season by participating in giving opportunities happening around campus. Projects aim to provide toys for children, food for families, support for military personnel serving overseas, and much more.

Many projects are sponsored by specific Emory schools and divisions, but all welcome participation from across the university. The deadlines for some projects are already near, while others continue throughout the month.

Here are some of the giving drives underway on the Emory campus:

Holiday toy drive

The Division of Cardiology in the School of Medicine is raising money for its annual holiday toy drive. "Last year, we were able to surpass our initial goal and supported more than 80 children with over $10,000 in generous donations from the Emory community," says Alicia Lyle, assistant professor of medicine in cardiology.

"This year, we hope to continue this strong tradition and have pledged to support at least 80 local children, ages 1 to 17, in need. We will team up with the Department of Medicine's Project M-PACT team, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center administrative team, and the Emory Clinics," she says.

The division is requesting monetary donations to help fulfill the wish lists. "Typically, their lists are very modest and include clothing and one or two personal items, such as toys or sporting goods." Lyle says.

Donations are requested by Friday, Dec. 4.

Gifts for children and seniors

The Rollins School of Public Health, including the Emory Global Health Institute, continues its annual participation in Season of Giving / Decatur Christmas, sponsoring and fulfilling the wish lists of children and seniors, according to Stacey D. Paschal, senior administrative assistant, Emory Global Health Institute.

RSPH departments can also sponsor and supply the wish lists items for as many people as each department wants. Contact Paschal for more information; gifts are due on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Help for homelessness

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing faculty, staff, and students host an annual holiday collection for its community partners, CAPN Clinic and Gateway.

CAPN, Community Advanced Practice Nurses, is a non-profit organization whose advanced practice nurses provide free-of-charge health care services to Atlanta's homeless or economically disadvantaged women and children. Beyond direct health services, CAPN Clinic incorporates education and health prevention strategies, psychological support and case management.

Gateway center houses 330 beds for men who are enrolled in residential programs and actively working to end their homelessness, and offers client engagement for men, women and children by connecting them to resources throughout the metro-Atlanta area.

Both organizations have submitted a wish list of their biggest needs, and faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends in the community are invited to support these organizations by helping them secure materials that are critical to their missions. To participate, contact Amanda Denzer-King, School Life Commitee chair.

Food pantry for people with HIV

The Emory Vaccine Center (EVC) is collecting food for the emergency pantry at the Ponce Clinic. The Ponce Clinic serves HIV-infected/affected /AIDS individuals and families from metropolitan Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Both adults and children receive services from the Ponce Clinic. "We need nutritional and helpful foods that you can donate," says Jane Lawson, EVC coordinator.

Collection containers with lists of needed items have been placed in EVC locations, which are fourth floor dental school building; third floor Rollins Research Center; first, second and third floors of EVC at Yerkes National Primate Research Center; and at Hope Clinic on Irvin Court in Decatur.

Please contribute items by Friday, Dec. 18. Donations of cash for food are also accepted. "Project Open Hand has contracts that provide excellent buying power for cash donations," Lawson says, adding donors can bring checks or cash to her.

Toys for Tots

 "The Marine Reserves hosts Toys for Tots each year and my reserve unit is involved with that effort," says Andrew West, senior center administrator of the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI). 

ACTSI, located in Emory University Hospital, and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building at 1440 Clifton Road are toy drop-off locations through 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

New and unwrapped toys appropriate for boys and girls from newborn to 12 years old are needed. The Toys for Tots program always runs short of toys for ages 0 to 2 and 10 and older. Suggested toys for the older children include makeup kits, hair dryers, watches, colognes, perfumes and sporting equipment. Also, bicycles are always in high demand but must be accompanied by a helmet.

Adopt a cancer patient and their family

The Winship Patient and Family Resource Center is having its annual Holiday Adopt a Family Program.

Each year, Winship's Social Services department identifies patients who may be in need during the Christmas holiday. Each patient creates a wish list of items for themselves and immediate family members. Winship staff, volunteers, Emory University and Healthcare staff, and outside faith-based groups and organizations are encouraged to adopt a patient and their family.

Started in 2007 with three families, the Adopt a Family Program "last year had almost 50 families," according to William Gesner, supervisor of business operations at Winship.

Those who adopt communicate directly with the patient to acknowledge receipt of their wish list and make arrangements to meet. All patients must receive their gifts by Friday, Dec. 18.

Clothing and blanket drive

EmoryHOAP (Homeless Outreach Awareness Project) is having a clothing and blanket drive through Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Bring all donation items of clothes, blankets or other essential items and to the donation boxes at the Student Academic and Activity at Clairmont or the Dobbs University Center information desk. For more information, see the HOAP Facebook page or contact Jun Cai.

Children's book drive

Barnes & Noble at Emory partners with Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority for their Reading is Key philanthropy event, which is a children's book drive. New books can be dropped off and purchased at the bookstore and patrons receive 10 percent off the entire purchase that includes a donation book. All book donations go to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Bread coffeehouse and Lifeline Animal Project

Emory Development and Alumni Relations is planning a giving drive for the 1762 Clifton Road building potluck to support two organizations.

Bread is a free coffeehouse haven for Emory students, also being supported by the Emory Alumni Association and their holiday drive. Bread is a partner with the Office of Student Success to support students in need. Requested donations for Bread include MARTA, CVS, Publix, Kroger gift cards; non-perishable foods; meal solutions such as pasta, soup, ramen noodles, mac-n-cheese, cereal; snacks; personal care items; and household products such as toilet paper, paper towels.

Lifeline Animal Project is the other organization that will receive donations. Suggestions include heavy-duty slip leads, canned puppy food and kitten food; canned pate-style cat food; clay cat litter; and laundry and dishwashing detergent.

Donations can be dropped off at the Miller-Ward Alumni House on Houston Mill Road by Dec. 18. Contact Danielle Goeckel in Development and Alumni Relations for more information.

Kroger Card donations

Spiritual Health/Pastoral Care is coordinating a formal Kroger card donation program for Emory Healthcare staffers who want to donate their cards to employees who need financial assistance. Employees can give cards directly to a fellow employee or donate them anonymously at one of the Spiritual/Pastoral Care offices:
Emory Johns Creek Hospital: First floor in front of the information desk, 678-474-7195

  • Emory St. Joseph's Hospital: Pastoral Care Office: Room G35, 678-843-7840
  • Emory University Hospital: Room C204, 404-712-7200
  • Emory University Hospital Midtown: Room 1303, Davis-Fischer Building, 404-686-2408
  • Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital: Room N2103, 404-251-3060
  • Emory Wesley Woods Hospital: Across from Administration, 404-728-6466

Gifts for military personnel and kids

The Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences is collecting toiletries and snacks such as small candies, beef jerky, chips, etc. to send to U.S. military personnel serving overseas. Holiday cards are welcome, too, says Margie Varnado, coordinator of the GIVE Program (GDBBS Involved in Volunteerism at Emory).

"We will be collecting any toys — ideally science-related! — to give to families in need throughout the Atlanta area via the local Toys for Tots chapter," she says.

Separate bins have been set up at the following locations for donations for both drives:

  • Department of Human Genetics Office: 3rd Floor Whitehead
  • Department of Cell Biology Office: 4th Floor Whitehead)
  • Graduate Student Council Office: Eagle's Landing, Dobbs University Center)
  • GDBBS Office: 1462 Clifton Rd., Suite 314

Santa Cop

Emory Police supports the DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police's Christmas program, Santa Cop, their annual shopping event with Santa Cop event for underprivileged children. The police department is asking for monetary donations that will go to the children to purchase items for themselves and family members while assisted by an officer. Donations can be made via a link on their DeKalb FOP website, or checks can be mailed directly to the DeKalb FOP lodge.

Fair trade coffee sale

Ordering is underway now for the Holiday Fair Trade Coffee Sale through Social Enterprise @ Goizueta and Farmers to 40.  Bags of Farmers to 40 organic, specialty coffee are sustainable gifts. Farmers to 40 is an initiative from Emory's Social Enterprise @ Goizueta Business School that encourages sustainable economic development in coffee-growing communities.

Small-holder farmers are adequately compensated for the time, skills, and effort required to grow beans of the highest quality. The "40" indicates a 40 percent return of each bag's retail price to the farmers that grew the beans.

Those on Emory's campus are asked to order through the GBS Holiday Buyers Club. Orders can also be placed online from now through Friday, Dec. 4, to ensure delivery before the holidays. For more information, contact Peter Roberts, associate professor of business.

Support for LGBT youth and people with HIV/AIDS

The School of Medicine (SOM) is sponsoring a winter service project, again working with Jerusalem House and Lost-n-Found.

Jerusalem House provides over 66 percent of the permanent supportive housing designated for Atlanta's homeless and low-income population with HIV/AIDS through two residential programs and two master lease programs. It is not supported by United Way and is not a religious organization. Lost-N-Found is Atlanta's only non-profit organization dedicated to taking homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, ages 13 to 25, off the street and into more permanent housing.

The period to sign up to fulfill wishlists for clients of the two agencies has already closed; participants need to bring their donations to SOM 455 on Thursday, Dec. 10. Contact Rachelle Lehner, assistant dean, staff development, for more information.

Holiday Workshop in Johns Creek

Emory Johns Creek Hospital will host its 9th annual Holiday Workshop on Friday, Dec. 4, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. as part of Johns Creek's Founders week celebration. The event will include choral performances by elementary school students, crafts for kids, pictures with Santa, a tree lighting ceremony, and holiday lights along Johns Creek Parkway.

Johns Creek Fire Department will also bring their smokers to the event and sell dinner plates. All proceeds will benefit the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation.

Giving at Oxford College

Oxford College has a number of holiday giving opportunities and activities. Oxford's Office of Student Involvement and Leadership leads an effort to provide gifts of toys and clothing to several families of children attending local Flint Hill Elementary School.  Faculty and staff signed up to sponsor individual families or to contribute money or gifts to the effort. On Tuesday evening, Dec. 8, students will help wrap gifts for each family.

Throughout December, the Black Student Alliance is collecting books of all types to serve as reading material for incarcerated persons. The books, which will be collected until late February, will be donated to the local Newton County Sheriff's Office and to the Lee Arrendale Prison in Alto, Ga.

Editor's note: Do you know of a holiday cause at Emory that's not mentioned here? Please let us know at emory.report@emory.edu.