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University of Hartford Launches “Give the Gift of Service” for the Holiday Season

Posted 11/22/2010
Posted by Meagan Fazio

The University of Hartford’s Center for Community Service has launched a “Give the Gift of Service” campaign to encourage students, faculty and staff to participate in fundraisers and charitable events this holiday season. The center has listed many different programs and opportunities on its website ( that enable the campus community to make an impact on the surrounding community. Volunteer opportunities include serving community meals, giving blood, and visiting the sick or elderly, to name just a few. Other opportunities allow students, faculty and staff to share resources by making donations of food, clothing or money.

Media coverage is invited for any and all of the following on campus service events:

Annual Preschool Teddy Bear Holiday Party: The University will host its annual party for approximately 130 children from three Hartford preschools on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Gengras Student Union’s Suisman Lounge. Preschoolers from the Salvation Army Pre-School, the YWCA Growing Tree Early Learning Center and the School for Young Children will each receive a teddy bear and have a picture taken with Santa. University students will participate in activities with the children and provide snacks. Party music will be provided by WSAM, the University’s student-run radio station.

• Angel Tree: The University’s Center for Community Service encourages all members of the University community to pick an angel off the Center’s Angel Tree and pledge to buy the gift on written on the back of the angel card. The donated gifts will go to children at the South Park Inn, a homeless shelter and advocacy group for the Greater Hartford area. Angel cards are available in Gengras Student Union and the Center for Community Service, located in Gengras Room 209, from Monday, Nov. 22 until Friday, Dec. 10. All gifts must be dropped off unwrapped at the Center for Community Service by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

• Mitten Tree: The Mortensen Library is collecting mittens, hats and scarves to give to men, women and children staying at the Open Hearth and the Salvation Army Marshall House shelters in Hartford. University community members are invited to hang donations on the tree in the lobby of the library, located in the Harry Jack Gray Center on campus, from Wednesday, Nov. 24 until Friday, Dec. 17.

• Hawk Hall Food Drive First-year students living in Hawk Hall will hold a food drive to benefit area food pantries. Students, faculty and staff can drop off non-perishable items at Hawk Hall from Tuesday, Dec. 14 until Monday, Dec. 20. Faculty, staff and students can buy something extra for the food drive when they go grocery shopping and students are especially encouraged to drop off any unopened non-perishable food that they do not plan to take home over winter break.

• Toiletry and Underwear Drive: Project Horizon, a community outreach initiative of the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, is sponsoring its annual drive to benefit people in Greater Hartford-area homeless shelters. Organizers say the most pressing needs are for new cotton underwear and t-shirts for men, women and children. They are also collecting sample-sized toiletries (hand sanitizers, razors, deodorant, shampoo, liquid soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lotion, etc.). Donations can be dropped off in Hillyer Hall Room 200E and/or Gengras Room 309 throughout the winter months.

A campus map can be found at For more information on these and other community service projects, please call Matt Blocker, director of the Center for Community Service, at 860.768.5409 or visit

Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a “private university with a public purpose,” the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, the humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University’s student body of 7,300 represents 48 states and more than 40 countries. For more information, visit