FAYETTE, Iowa (November 21, 2007) - ‘Tis the season, and the Upper Iowa University community-the Fayette campus and many of its centers across the nation-has included special "giving" projects in their holiday plans.
For the third straight year, the Fayette campus will send holiday care packages to its deployed military students. According to Karla Gavin, UIU director of career development and project organizer, 71 packages were sent by student groups, faculty, and staff last year and based on the "thank you" notes she received, the packages were greatly appreciated.
Upper Iowa student Christopher Alexander wrote from Iraq, "Believe me; you guys keep us sane with the emails and words of encouragement. Thank you for everything that you do." Volunteers donate the non-perishable items for each package and pay the postage. Items include food, candy, toiletries, pens and paper. Gavin also urges each sender to include a personal note.
Reports indicate that charitable organizations are receiving an increased number of requests for assistance, likely due to today's tough economy and large numbers of people losing their jobs. Food banks are especially hard hit during hard times.
UIU-Des Moines is participating in the Food Bank of Iowa's Combat Hunger initiative. Students and faculty members can make either cash donations or bring in non-perishable food items during normal office hours. The names of everyone who contributes to food items or $1 will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket.
UIU-Madison is involved in a local food drive sponsored by Second Harvest Food bank and NBC Channel 15. The project was started 12 years ago and is one of the biggest food drives in the area. Madison's goal this year is 700 pounds of food. The drive is organized by Student Accounts Manager Doreen Boudreau.
UIU-Milwaukee has joined the Hunger Task Force Food for Families drive for nonperishable food. Collection boxes have been stationed throughout the center promoting the drive, which runs Nov. 17 - Dec. 19.
UIU-Waterloo will be collecting money to purchase toys and clothing for the local Salvation Army's "Toy Shoppe" program. Eligible parents can Christmas shop for their children from donated items. Upper Iowa staff members also plan to volunteer at the Toy Shoppe during Dec.16 -18.
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