Make a difference for Philadelphia children this Christmas. Here’s how

November 18, 2022

University Ministry, Service, and Support has organized its annual gift and toy drive.

For decades, the La Salle University community has placed greater value on giving gifts rather than receiving them.

That’s why La Salle’s Division of University Ministry, Service, and Support (UMSS) has organized its annual gift and toy drive to support children at The Church of New Hope and Faith in West Philadelphia.

UMSS continues to adapt its yearly gift and toy drive to guarantee strong participation. Here’s how you can contribute:

Use Amazon wish lists. You can purchase a gift for a child across four groups: girls ages 13–17; boys ages 13–15; “big kids” ages 8–12; “little ones” ages 1–7; and children with special needs. Purchases ship directly to The Church of New Hope and Faith.

Grab a QR code on campus. They are hanging from Christmas trees positioned in high-traffic areas: the lobbies of the Union, St. Benilde Tower, and Founders’ Hall.

The QR codes are the newest development of the gift and toy drive, said Director of University Ministry Regina Gauss Kosiek, ’01, M.A. ’18. Importantly, they do not track to a specific child.

“In the past, a lost tag might translate to a child not receiving a gift,” Gauss Kosiek said. “The QR codes are merely reminders that our community can take from a tree carry in their pockets as they go about their day, reminding them to make a difference for a child the next time they log on to Amazon.”

Also new this year, La Salle’s gift and toy drive allows you to purchase items specific to children with special needs.

“It’s important that our gift and toy drive be as inclusive as possible and representative of all children, including those who are neurodiverse and those with physical limitations,” said speech-language pathology graduate student Sophia Milione, ’22, M.A. ’23, who is leading the planning and organization of UMSS’ annual drive.

The deadline for purchasing a gift or toy is Dec. 19.

“Every contribution helps,” said Milione, “to make sure we help our neighbors have the happiest Christmas and holiday season.”

—Christopher A. Vito