At FDU, spreading holiday cheer and helping those in need

By Madinah Muhammad

It’s the time of the year to give, share and come together to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The Fairleigh Dickinson University community is doing just that to create a happy holiday season for the less fortunate. Donation drives across the Florham and Metropolitan campuses in November and December collected toys for children, canned goods for the hungry, and coats and clothing for the homeless.

Hurricane Maria relief — Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program

donations for hurricane victims
EOF program students and staff collected food and household items for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. (Left) EOF Metropolitan staff members (L to R) Lissette Garcia, associate director; Rashard Mills, assistant director; MaryAnn Meola, assistant to the director; Joseline Mendoza, assistant director; and Angelica Montero, assistant director. (Right) Florham Campus EOF students and collected items. (Photos courtesy of Lissette Garcia and by Dan Landau)

The Educational Opportunity Fund program on the Florham and Metropolitan campuses asked the FDU community to help those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, through donations of food and household items. EOF provides financial assistance and support services to minority students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. With the support of the Hispanic Law Enforcement Society of Essex County and Major League Baseball pitcher Hector Santiago, more than 80 boxes of donations are being securely transported to and distributed throughout Puerto Rico.

Toy drive — Office of Campus Life

donations for hurricane victims
Toys, games and gifts donated to ‘Twice the Joy’ toy drive at the Florham Campus. (Photo courtesy of Conor Leary)

At the Florham Campus, the Office of Campus Life hosted the “Twice the Joy Toy” drive collecting more than 300 toys, games and other gifts for Toys for Tots and the motorcycle Toy Run Foundation.

Coat drive — Enactus

donations for coat drive
Enactus members with coat drive donations collected at the Florham Campus for Market Street Mission. (Photo courtesy of Fatou Dieng)

The Florham Campus chapter of the Enactus organization, which encourages students to embrace entrepreneurship to improve social issues worldwide, held a coat drive. Members collected more than 20 bags and boxes of coats and clothes for the Market Street Mission in Morristown, N.J. Market Street Mission hosts an annual coat drive where they distribute donated coats and clothes to people in need in Morristown and Asbury Park, N.J.

Food drive and gift drive — Knights Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC)

donations for coat drive
Members of the Knights Student Athletic Advisory Committee at the Metropolitan Campus held two donation drives recently: one for food items and one for presents. (Photo courtesy of Knights SAAC)

The Knights Student Athletic Advisory Committee recently participated in “All Wrapped Up,” collecting $500 worth of gifts. The donations will be distributed to local individuals and families through the Bergen Volunteer Center. Earlier in the semester, SAAC joined forces with Zeta Beta Tau and Alpha Epsilon Phi to collect food to benefit the Center for Food Action. They donated 300 items to the cause.

Food drive — Mental Health Counseling Honor Society

donations for coat drive
Phi Delta president-elect Emma Tagariello and president Rebecca Pennington with donations collected for the Chester/Mendham Food Pantry. (Photo courtesy of Kate Shirley)

At the Florham Campus, the Phi Delta chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (the Mental Health Counseling Honor Society) collected more than 300 items for the Chester/Mendham Food Pantry. The pantry assists families in the community with non-perishable food items, and hygiene, health and beauty products.

Toy and clothes drive — Office of the Metropolitan Campus Executive 

donations for coat drive
Gifts donated to children for the ‘Secret Santa Holiday Drive’ at the Metropolitan Campus. (Photo courtesy of Angela DePoalo)

The Office of the Metropolitan Campus Executive hosted its annual Secret Santa Holiday Drive to provide toys and clothing to more than 50 children, in collaboration with the Youth Consultation Service (YCS) in Hackensack, N.J. YCS works with children who have suffered abuse, neglect or have special needs.