Santa's elves get some much-needed help from Fairfield University

Image: Teddy bearSanta's elves are getting some much-needed help this holiday season from Fairfield University. At about 10 a.m. this morning, vehicles arrived on campus to pick up Christmas presents and food for 11 families in the Evergreen Network, which provides services to families impacted by AIDS as well as children who have lost parents due to catastrophic illnesses or violence. Clothing, toys and boxes of food for Christmas dinner and beyond were collected from the Bannow Science Center to the School of Nursing, on to the Barone Campus Center, then DiMenna-Nyselius Library and Bellarmine Hall; then to Donnarumma Hall. Canisius Hall and Loyola Hall and finally the Health Center. Joanne Choly, the lab coordinator in biology, has been coordinating the project since 1998, assisted by Dr. Eugenia Zavras, visiting assistant professor in biology. Fairfield started the program in 1990.

The Office of Alumni Relations and the Student Alumni Association at Fairfield University have been busy collecting Teddy Bears for the 10th annual Teddy Bears with Love Drive which took place during the months of November and December. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of Fairfield, more than 1,100 new teddy bears were donated and will be distributed to children at area locations that include Action Bridgeport Community Development; St. Vincent's Hospital; Bridgeport Hospital; Yale New Haven Children's Hospital; Connecticut Children's Medical Center; Massachusetts General Hospital of Boston; Children's Memorial Hospital of Chicago; Overlook Hospital of Summit, New Jersey; Georgetown University Hospital - Georgetown Pediatrics Child Life Program of Washington, D.C.; and Variety - The Children's Charity - Delaware. Colleen McGinn, assistant director of alumni relations, coordinates the collection along with the Student Alumni Association. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Teddy Bears with Love drive has distributed nearly 10,500 teddy bears to children during the holidays.

Also this week the Fairfield University Student Government Association is sponsoring a donation package drive in support of the Connecticut 2/104th AVN Battalion, of which Fairfield University Computer Network Technician Robert Chop is a member. Rob is currently serving as an in-flight helicopter mechanic with his unit in Iraq. During the week of December 14-22 University community members are invited to leave donations of items like protein bars, Fig Newtons, dry soup, beef jerky, lip balm, toothpaste, band aids, eye drops and other items in a donation box located next to the Barone Campus Center Information Desk.

Also joining the holiday festivities have been the Men's and Women's basketball teams, who in addition to supporting the Teddy Bears with Love drive are supporting the United Way Backpack Program, a partnership with the Bridgeport School System; and the Toys for Tots program.

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Posted on December 17, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 156

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