Season of giving

For the holiday season, Penn Volunteers in Public Service is sponsoring a University-wide gift/toy drive and is also encouraging departments to “adopt” a deserving family in lieu of holding office gift exchanges.

The gift/toy drive will run from Nov. 28 through Dec. 14, with drop-off locations across campus. Donated items must be new, unused and unwrapped. The gifts and toys will support holiday efforts of local community organizations, including the People’s Emergency Shelter, the McMichael School, Potter’s Mission, Bridges to the Community, Intercultural Family Services and the annual holiday party hosted by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.

Drop off points include: the President’s Office and Office of the Provost in College Hall; the Penn Museum reception desk; Van Pelt Library; Penn Law School, the Netter Center; and Claire Fagin Hall, among others. To get a full list of drop-off locations, see contact information below.

Additionally, departments across campus can choose to “adopt” a family for the holidays. Departments can select the size of the family and can also request the ages of the children. Participants can ask for a “wish list” from the family to help guide their gift buying. Information such as the names, ages and clothing sizes of each family member will be provided. Participants are encouraged to deliver the gifts to the adopted family, but they may also request to have the gifts delivered by someone outside the department. 

Selection of adopted families begins this month and assignments will be distributed before mid-December. For more information, contact Isabel Mapp at 215-898-2020 or email