Drexel Helps Make the Holiday Season a Little Brighter Through Charity Drives

Two of Drexel University’s annual charity drives returned this year with in-person programming while continuing their traditions of participating in civic engagement to spread cheer and goodwill to communities that might need it most during the holiday season.

Faculty, professional staff, students and alumni hosted and donated to drives gathering toys and care packages ultimately given to local community organizations to distribute to families in need, and sent off to active military stationed overseas.

Dragons donated items in November and packaged those goodies in December for both Student Life’s and the Office of Government and Community Relations’ individual drives. At those in-person events on campus, attendees, including Santa, adhered to the University’s COVID-19 safety protocols and events and visitor procedures.

Military Care Package Drive

On Dec. 3, Dragons participating in the University’s annual military care package drive filled 118 boxes with handmade notes and cards as well as donated food, household items and toiletries to send to active military stationed overseas. Dragons dropped off donated items on campus and picked up their own USPS authorized box to fill with goodies before the event, and Drexel faculty, professional staff and students volunteered on Dec. 3 to pack boxes with donated items and write out their well wishes to send along to the service members.

“The 11th Annual Military Care Package Drive’s success is largely due to the good will of our donors, volunteers and the outstanding leadership of Jane Kelly and coordination by the DUPD team. Each year, this event uplifts and energizes all those who appreciate our military and want to share their gratitude. This tradition has provided our campus and community with more opportunities to demonstrate our humanity, especially during the holiday season,” said Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Success Rebecca Weidensaul, PhD.

25th Annual Holiday Toy Drive

The Office of Government and Community Relations’ Annual Holiday Toy Drive returned as an in-person event this year — in its 25th year — to distribute bags of toys to community organizations and make a child’s holiday extra special.

In November, eight collection locations were set up on Drexel's three campuses for Dragons to donate new and unwrapped toys. On Dec. 8, Drexel volunteers bagged approximately 4,000 toys collected through donations and purchases from toy vendors.

The resulting stuffed bags, which were close to 200 in number, were then distributed to recipient groups including public housing developments, churches and ministries, homeless shelters, social service agencies and various centers. On Dec. 13, 45 organizations received bags at a special ceremony in Drexel’s Mitchell Auditorium presented by University President John Fry and the Office of Government and Community Relations — and attended by Santa.

[Editor’s note: Drexel’s Alumni Turkey Project also returned to in-person programming this year to provide holiday meals to families in more areas than ever before, which was also covered by DrexelNow.]