Harvard Partners with Shelter To Bring Holiday Cheer

Donate by December 14th
Nicholas M Mendez

Each of the Houses has a box in which Students and other members of the Harvard community may drop off used clothing to be donated. All of the items will be collected on December 14th.

For the first time in recent memory, Harvard Campus Services and the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter have teamed to bring holiday cheer to Harvard Square’s homeless population.

Last week, Campus Services placed collection boxes in upperclassmen dining halls and in Annenberg. Using donations from undergraduates and faculty, the organizations plan to assemble holiday care packages to be distributed at the shelter.

Charles A. Hobbs ’13, an administrative director at the homeless shelter, said his organization is accepting donations ranging from hats and scarves to wrapped treats and gifts.

“We’ve never done this before, but it seems like a great idea,” Hobbs said. “I’m sure it’s going to have a really positive impact on the holiday season for these individuals. We really want to make as large an impact as we can.”

The boxes will be removed on Dec. 14, according to University spokesperson Lauren M. Marshall.

Harvard has collaborated with the homeless shelter in a number of other ways. The University donates leftover food from the dining halls to the shelter to feed the homeless, sending several hundred meals a month, according to Marshall. Harvard also donates approximately 14,000 meals a year go to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

According to Hobbs, Campus Services has also formed a partnership with Phillips Brooks House Association, an umbrella organization for social service groups. Through Dec. 14, PBHA will seek donations of new or gently used hats, gloves, coats, and sweaters for the shelter’s care packages.

Harvard took the initiative to form this partnership, Hobbs said.

“It was actually the school that reached out to us about making a donation,” Hobbs said. “We have an ongoing relationship with them, but this is the first time that they’ve reached out about doing a possible fundraiser,” Hobbs said.

According to its website, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter has provided services for homeless individuals since 1983. It is the only student-run homeless shelter in the nation, and the first in Harvard Square.

The shelter, which heavily draws its volunteers from the Harvard student body, provides housing for up to 24 homeless guests each night,