Drexel Ends 2018 With Annual Holiday Charity Drives

Drexel faculty and staff posed with members from community organizations at the Holiday Toy Drive's ceremony on Dec. 19.
Drexel faculty and staff — and Santa! — posed with members from community organizations at the Holiday Toy Drive's ceremony on Dec. 19.

Every December, Drexel University holds charity drives to spread holiday cheer to active military stationed overseas and children living in neighboring communities. 

Everything from toys to turkeys to care packages were donated, boxed up and distributed to community members at the University City Campus or shipped overseas, thanks to Drexel faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Here’s what happened on campus:

2018 Military Care Package Drive

Drexel hosted its annual Military Care Package Drive on Dec. 7, boxing up 75 packages to send out to military members overseas.

The Office of Veteran Student Services’, Drexel Veterans Association and Drexel Public Safety lead the effort, and Wawa (in celebrating their arrival at Drexel this fall) donated a $1,000 check that the Drexel Veterans Association used to purchase care package contents. 

“I am so proud to be at a university that recognizes and honors military service,” said Rebecca Weidensaul, PhD, assistant vice president of Student Life. “I hope that the care packages will bring a touch of home to those who are away from their loved ones in service. I consider myself so fortunate and appreciate the sacrifices of our military families at this time of year in particular.”

On the day of the event, Drexel faculty, staff and students gathered to create the care packages. George McNight, a police captain in Public Safety and a U.S. Marine, dropped off all of the boxes for shipment by United Service Organizations, which will send the packages to active military stationed overseas.

Goodies in the care packages included:

  • Food and drinks like mac & cheese, ramen noodles, tea, beef jerky, snack bars, hot sauce, candy, drink mixes and gum
  • Homemade greeting cards written by Drexel Dragons
  • An issue of The Triangle, Drexel’s student newspaper, with a cover story on how Drexel honored Veterans Appreciation Month
  • Toiletries, baby powder and chapstick

“This would not be possible without the generous contributions of Wawa, Drexel University Public Safety (project leader Jane Kelly), the leadership of Drexel Veterans Association (advisor extraordinaire, Jess Wisniewski), Colleen Franconi, who spearheaded a greeting card campaign for the packages … and especially everyone who went shopping and brought awesome treats and creature comforts for the care packages! You will see from the photos that we had many hands, light work, good will and great Dragon Spirit!” said Weidensaul.

2018 Annual Holiday Toy Drive

The Office of Government and Community Relations’ 22nd Annual Holiday Toy Drive donated over 5,000 toys to 70 community organizations this year.

Dragons helped donate all sorts of toys — from the UNO card games to Mega Bloks and Fisher-Price's Chatter Telephones — to be distributed to local children through organizations including homeless shelters, youth centers, social service agencies and more. On Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, faculty and staff helped stuff bright red bags full of toys for Santa to give to members of community organizations at an event hosted in the Main Building on Dec. 19.

Our founder, Anthony J. Drexel, wanted his Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry to be fully engaged with its city,” President John Fry said. “One of the happiest ways we do that every year is with this toy drive.”