Campus holiday drives strive to benefit local community

12/08/14 — Boston, MA. — Johanna Ramirez, SSH, 15, left, Rosa Torres, Office Assistant, LSCC, Manny Cruz, SSH’16, Anthony Crisp, SSH’15, and Lydia Vega, Coordinator of Student Service, LSCC, sort though donated toys for the Annual LSCC Toy Drive in the Latino/a Student Cultural Center at Northeastern University on December 8, 2014. The LSCC hosts its annual Toy Drive in conjunction with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Also working with the Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center of Cambridge, which assists homeless families move towards overcoming homelessness. Staff Photo by Matthew Modoono

On Thursday, the Northeastern University Police Department began its second annual toy drive to benefit a local child care center just steps away from campus.

The effort began after St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church on Tremont Street invited NUPD members to join them and others in the community for a Thanksgiving meal. Officers, touched by the gesture, were looking for a way to give back and realized that one way would be to support the Learn and Play Child Care Center, which is located at the church.

“It was such a gracious thing the church did for us, and we were looking for a way to give back, to pay it forward,” said Northeastern Police community service officer Celine Conte. Conte said last year’s toy drive was a big success and that the department is looking forward to continuing the effort this year.

Across campus, many other offices and organizations are running similar holiday drives.

The Latino/a Student Cultural Center annually sponsors a toy drive to support the Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The center has provided a toy drive list, which includes the children’s names, ages, and gift wishes. If you are interested in participating, visit the toy drive list and sign your name under the corresponding gift you’ll be donating. All gifts can be dropped off unwrapped at the center at 104 Forsyth St. by Dec. 16.

The Northeastern baseball team is collecting winter coats, hats, and gloves. The drive, which supports the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, runs through Friday, Dec. 2. Donations can be dropped off at Cabot Center in the collection bin located in the student-athlete lounge, on the ground floor across from the sports medicine room.

The Russell J. Call Children’s Center is collecting baby-size towels, washcloths, bibs, and blankets to benefit Room to Grow, a local nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of babies born into poverty. The drive begins on Monday and runs through Dec. 16. Donations can be dropped off at the Children’s Center at 1 Fencourt St., Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The Office of City and Community Affairs is sponsoring its annual drive to collect new, unwrapped toys and books to benefit families in need in Northeastern’s surrounding communities. The drive runs through Tuesday, Dec. 20. Items can be dropped off in room 208 of the YMCA building. If your office would like to receive a box for collecting donations, contact Leigh Pierson at