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December Volunteer Opportunities

Dear Penn Community,

Thank you so very much for your generosity. During the month of November, because of your generous contributions, we donated approximately 70 boxes and bags of food to the Carroll Park Community Council's Food Program and in partnership with the American Law Institute, we also donated food and clothing to One Day At A Time. Further, we hosted 20 students from West Philadelphia High School for the Annual Citywide Shadowing Day Event held on November 20, 2003.

Our surrounding community continues to express thanks for the many services and partnerships the Penn community  is involved in.

Below is a list of current opportunities. I look forward to working with you as we strive to be good neighbors. Thank you for all you do.

--Isabel Mapp, Associate Director, Faculty, Staff and Alumni Volunteer Services Director, Penn Volunteers In Public Service, Center for Community Partnerships

Holiday Giving With Penn VIPS

christmas gifts

Christmas Drive Now Through December 18

For a list of the drop off locations, see December  AT PENN, Please join us in the Annual  Penn Volunteers In Public Service Holiday Drive. As you buy toys and presents for the holiday season, please consider spreading some cheer to  deserving members of our community. All toys and gifts donated will support the efforts of organizations including the People's Emergency Shelter, McMichael School, Miracle Corners of the World, Potter's Mission, Our Lady of the Rosary, Intercultural Family Services and many more. All items for the holiday drive must be new not used and please indicate the gender and age appropriateness of all gifts. 

Penn VIPS Adopt A Family for the Holidays Program

During December, departments from across the University "adopt" a deserving family. The adoption is usually done in lieu of departmental gift exchanges. The assigned family is treated to presents and sometimes holiday dinner. Families participate in the program on a one-time basis.

Families are assigned to departments based on request. Departments choose the size of the family they would like to adopt. Departments can also request the ages of the children they are interested in adopting. Departments may request a "wish list" from the family or they may choose their own gifts for the family members. Departments choose the number and types of gifts they will provide. Departments are provided with size of the family, names, ages and sizes of each family member. Departments are encouraged to deliver gifts to the families, but they may also request to have gifts delivered.

Rubye's Kids Holiday Party: Saturday, December 13

Cleveland Elementary School, 3701 North 19th Street, needs volunteers age 18 and over on the day of the event from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Help make the holiday joyous for over 400 children ages 6-8 from seven elementary schools and a shelter. Volunteer to help out during the party.

Coat Drive Now Through December 15

Does your old winter coat still have some serviceable miles on it? Warm coats in good condition, for both children and adults, are needed by a number of charitable organizations in the Philadelphia area. For the third year in a row, the Linguistics Department is working with the Penn VIPS, Center for Community Partnerships office in organizing a Winter Coat Drive. If you have a coat (or coats) to contribute to our drive, you are welcome to donate them, contact the people listed below. We do not have the facilities or funds to clean donated items. Freshly laundered (or recently cleaned) items are especially appreciated.  Bring in your gently used coats to be donated to area shelters. Contact Isabel Mapp  at (215) 898-2020 or send an e-mail:  sammapp@pobox or Amy Forsyth at (215) 898-6046 or aforsyth@babel.ling for additional information and/or to make a donation.

Tutors  Needed

The Turner/WES Beacon Community Partnership Initiative is looking for volunteers to help tutor students in our after-school program. Also, we are looking for people to provide instruction to our children and adults: dance instructors, computer training instructors, karate instructors, aerobics, line dancing, expressive writing, drama, basketball (girls and boys), arts and craft, chess, track, PSAT prep, and youth entrepreneur class instructors. We are a non-profit community organization. All classes and activities are free to community members who live in 19143, 19142, 19151 areas. 

Volunteer with Reading Stars

After-School Reading Program: Provide one to one reading coaching with K-6th graders at the McDaniel Elementary School. All materials provided.

MLK Day of Service Activities for January 19

Join us as we beautify West Philadelphia High School, paint banners, provide one day mentoring, make arts and crafts for the elderly and for shut-ins and more in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visit website  at for details.


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 15, December 9, 2003