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Dr. Kat’s List: Five Colleges for Holiday Cheer and Charity

Many colleges and universities in the US spread the holiday spirit by giving back to the community through fundraisers, food and toy drives, and other holiday events. By committing time and resources to those in need, students and colleges bring holiday cheer during this season of giving.

In honor of the holiday season, here is Dr. Kat’s list of schools for holiday cheer!

Emory University, Atlanta, GA
At Emory University, spreading the holiday cheer is a deep tradition that doesn’t end when students graduate. During Emory Cares International Service Day, students, staff, and alumni gather to volunteer in over 35 cities across the world.

One activity is the Emory Cares Service Day at Oxford College. In its 10th year, the Emory Cares service day brought together over 60 alumni, students, and staff to put together over 200 care packages for children in the Newton County Foster Care program.

Haverford College, Haverford, PA
Holiday festivities typically center on family and food, but for the homeless, the holidays can be spent without either. At Haverford College, members of the Street Outreach student organization meet every week to assemble meals for the homeless in the surrounding community.

Every December they also host the Homeless Holiday Dinner, where volunteer students, faculty, and staff come together to spread holiday cheer by preparing holiday meals for those in need in the surrounding community.

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
The Volunteer Center at UCLA provides students with various community service activities throughout the year, but the holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for students and the university community to give back.

Every year, UCLA hosts a a slate of holiday volunteer activities, including a Thanksgiving dinner, toy collections, and food drives. Over the years UCLA has collected over 42,000 pounds of food donations to benefit individuals and families in need during its annual holiday season food drive.

Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
Every December, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN hosts 12 Day of Christmas, a volunteer and community initiative that spans the first 12 days of the month. During the event, various student groups help fundraise, collect food, gifts, clothing, and other necessities to help families in need in the area.

Campus events during the 12 days include student study breaks, holiday decorating, greeting card creation, and the biggest event of the week, the craft show. Various local vendors participate in the craft fair, with all proceeds going to the school sponsored families.

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Every holiday season, students and staff at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA pull together to bring toys and cheer to children in the Temple Intergenerational Center’s Grandma’s Kids and Family Friends program, which supports the families of children placed in the care of grandparents.

Various student groups and individuals on campus help the center host its annual toy drive, starting in November and continuing until mid-December, as a way to ensure all children in the program receive at least one gift on their holiday lists.

Whether it’s by providing a hot meal to the homeless or ensuring needy children have a holiday gift, these five colleges and universities spread the holiday cheer every year by giving back to those who need it most.

Other schools that strive to give back during the holidays, and throughout the year, include Keystone College, Fordham University, Wright State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. If a sustained commitment to volunteerism and community service is what you’re looking for in a school, these colleges are a great place to start!


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