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Holiday Outreach Programs

Students with Santa

Giving back to our community during the holiday season

Each year we are reminded how the Villanova community is tremendously generous. The goal of our Holiday Outreach programs is to create opportunities for Villanova community members to learn more about some of our wonderful community partners and give of their time and resources to support our partners and the families they provide services to. We extend continuous and sincere gratitudes to the many Villanova community members on and off campus who have made participating in our Holiday Outreach programs an annual tradition, and hope to inspire new folks to join us in these efforts each year! 

Thanksgiving Outreach happens in late October through Thanksgiving and includes donating boxes of Thanksgiving meal supplies and/or Shop Rite giftcards for families to purchase their own holiday meal items. In addition to donating meal boxes, volunteers are also needed to assist with the collection and delivery of the meal boxes on the Monday of Thanksgiving week.

Christmas Outreach happens in late November through the end of December. Our Christmas Outreach offerings reach a wide range of children and families in the greater Philadelphia region. Villanova community members are invited to "Adopt-a-Family" through North Light Community Center, to donate gift cards to various community partner orgnizations, and/or to contribute to a local Parish's Amazon Wishlist Toy Drive. Villanova community members are also encouraged to volunteer their time collecting and distributing gifts in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Click here to pledge your Christmas Giving donations!

If you are interested in supporting any of these efforts or would like to learn more, please see the information below. If you have any questions or would like to express your interest directly, please reach out to Marcy Andersen

Image of boxes with Thanksgiving Food Items inside

Our Thanksgiving Outreach program is a great opportunity for Villanova faculty, staff, students, and alumni to give back to our outstanding community partner organizations. Starting at the end of October, members of the Villanova community are invited to consider pledging donations of complete Thanksgiving meal boxes. Then, the Monday of Thanksgiving week, Villanova community members are asked to drop off their pledged donation boxes at the Connelly Circle so the boxes can be packed up in Villanova vans and delivered to our community partners. We suggest student groups, staff or academic departments, and/or friend groups work together to pledge an amount of boxes that feels manageable for them. Individuals are also invitied to pledge in the same way. 

In addition to meal boxes, we also collect Shop Rite giftcards in the amount of $50 that are donated to some of our community partners so families receiving the giftcards can purchase their own items for their holiday meal. 

We are so grateful for the many ways the Villanova community shows up for our community. Please consider joining our Thanksgiving Outreach efforts this year! See additional information on how to get involved and more about our community partners below. 

Thank you for supporting our 2023 Thanksgiving Outreach program! Be on the lookout next year for information on how to be involved with our 2024 drive.

Volunteer Needs

We have lots of need for Volunteers!

Volunteers are needed to help unload and load, organize, and count donation boxes as they are dropped off to the Connelly Circle.

Volunteers are also needed to drive university vehicles to and from our community partner locations to deliver meal boxes and giftcards.

If you need more information or have questions about volunteering, please email Marcy at

We are in need of meal boxes and giftcards. 65 $50 Shop Rite giftcards are needed to support some of our community partners.

Each meal box needs to be carefully assembled:

  • Please begin with a sturdy box and then fill it with:
    • 2 jars of turkey gravy
    • 2 jars of apple sauce
    • 4 cans of seasonal vegetables
    • 2 cans of cranberry sauce
    • 3 or 5lb bag of potatoes (not canned)
    • 2 boxes of stuffing
    • Pack of dinner rolls (placed on top)
  • Please also supply a 15lb turkey (not larger) and a fresh, non-frozen, pie separate from the box so the items do not become crushed. Please place the turkey and pie in their own individual plastic bags. 

In addition to turkeys, we are also in need of frozen chickens so our Community Partners can provide options to the families. If you would rather supply a chicken instead of a turkey, please be encouraged to do so. 


Image of students in the Villanova Room

We partner with some of our community partners to offer a range of opportunities to support local individuals and families during the Christmas Holiday season. Please read about the three different ways you can provide support and complete our Christmas Outreach registration form.

You and a group of people will receive names and wish lists from each family member eligible to receive a gift (those with disabilities and those 18 and younger). Your group will coordinate the following:

  • Purchasing gift(s) totaling about $35 minimum per person
  • Wrapping and clearly labeling the gifts
  • Delivering them to St. Rita Hall on Thursday, December 14

On Thursday, 12/14, we need a few folks to help collect gift donations in St. Rita Hall between the hours of 10am and 2pm. We also need volunteers to help deliver the gifts on Friday, 12/15. We do not yet have a solidified time to deliver gifts on 12/15 but we will reach out to you with more information if you express interest on the donation registration form.

Toy Drive flyer

You can donate to the Church of New Hope and Faith's Youth Council Toy Drive via their Amazon Wish Lists below. Once you or your group decides how you would like to support this drive, please complete this registration form. All gifts must be received by December 15h. Here are the wish lists:

Questions? Contact our Holiday Giving Team at

5 Below gift cards will go toward gifts for the children at North Light Community Center during their annual Christmas party.

All gift cards must be physical gift cards and sent to Marcy Andersen in St. Rita's Hall 118 by Tuesday, December 12th. Please pledge your gift card donation using this form.