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UAlbany Community Commits to Helping Those in Need this Holiday Season

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 16, 2014) – This holiday season, University at Albany students, staff, faculty and alumni are giving back to those in need through a variety of community service projects. While the campus community works throughout the year to assist the underserved in a variety of capacities, the holiday season presents a special opportunity to help the community-at-large.

The initiatives also support UAlbany President Robert J. Jones’ challenge to the campus to log at least two-and-a-half million community service hours each year. In addressing the campus with this challenge he has stated, “Let us flood the area with purple shirts that show our engagement with the community and our recognition that learning takes place in many venues.”

Currently, some 7,400 UAlbany students contribute to the local region through volunteer work, courses and internships annually. Here are some highlights from the 2014 holiday season:

Athletics ‘Adopt-a-Family’ Initiative

UAlbany student athletes volunteer more than 2,000 hours annually to provide positive experiences to those less fortunate in the Capital District. This holiday season, student athletes from the Great Danes’ 19 Division I teams will support Albany County’s ‘Adopt-a-Family’ initiative. Hundreds of families with little or no financial resources are assisted each year by ‘Adopt-a-Family’ to create a memorable holiday. UAlbany’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is organizing donations for suggested gifts.

Holiday Heroes
UAlbany students, faculty and staff prepare holiday gifts for delivery to the Parsons Child and Family Center of Albany and Northeast Parent and Child Society of Schenectady.

Res Life Teams Up with Holiday Giving Program 

For the seventh annual year, UAlbany students, faculty and staff collected and delivered busloads of gifts to the Parsons Child and Family Center of Albany and Northeast Parent and Child Society of Schenectady. The event is part of the Northern Rivers Holiday Giving Program, a campaign that serves thousands of regional children who are in need of holiday presents. Learn more here.

The Alumni Association “Drives Out Hunger”

The UAlbany Alumni Association is hosting its annual “Drive Out Hunger” campaign, a food drive that benefits the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Non-perishables can be dropped off throughout the months of December and January. Designated bins are located at SEFCU Arena, the Alumni House and at each of the Uptown Residential Quad Offices. Monetary donations are also accepted online.

Five Quad Aids Capital District Rescue Mission

In November, UAlbany student-run Five Quad Volunteer Ambulance Service donated food and clothing to the Albany Capital District Rescue Mission – a local homeless shelter. Five Quad volunteers collected items from students and staff throughout the University community. On donation day, a Five Quad ambulance transported 106 non-perishable items of food, 164 articles of clothing and 48 blankets.

Community and Public Serve Program Gives Back

The UAlbany Community and Public Service Program hosts overs 600 students each semester who are eager to volunteer and help in developing community engagement efforts. Recently, program members held a food drive for Club Zoe (an inner-city after school program that serves dinner to children) at three local Price Choppers. Students collected over 2,000 food donations and several hundred dollars for the organization. The group, along with the UAlbany Minority Association of Medical Students, also volunteered at the Waldorf Residence – a long-term homeless shelter.

Want to see more UAlbany community engagement initiatives? Visit the University’s official Pinterest page.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.