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Thanks A Million

Dear Penn Community,

Your generosity during this holiday season was unprecedented. Many benefited from your willingness to give. The following is a list of the various efforts.

Thank you to President Judith Rodin for hosting her Annual Holiday Party where over 325 toys and gifts were collected. Thank you to the following departments that brought joy to more than 25 families during the holidays by 'adopting' them:

  • Bioethics, coordinated by Colleen Becht
  • Business Services, coordinated by Maria Chaney
  • Career Services, coordinated by Sue Russoniello
  • Clinical Data Management, coordinated by Christopher Helker
  • Creative Communications, coordinated by Kate Logan       
  • Department of Anesthesia, coordinated by Nicole Parker
  • General Counsel, coordinated by Helen Logan
  • Gift Planning and International Gifts, coordinated by Debbie Layton
  • Housing and Conference Services, coordinated by Katrina Terrell
  • Law School, coordinated by Joanne Verrier
  • Library Electronic Acquisition Services, coordinated by Jeanne Shuttleworth
  • Library Information Systems, coordinated by Nancy Rose
  • Microbiology (Medicine), coordinated by Paige Hasling      
  • Penn Epilepsy Center, coordinated by Delight Roberts
  • Penncard Center, coordinated by Shavonne Gadson   
  • School of Dental Medicine Library, coordinated by Joanne Hemingway
  • School of Nursing coordinated by Jane Barnsteiner
  • Space Planning and Operations, coordinated by Robin Rozen and Tammy Stanley
  • U.L.A.R., coordinated by David Merrill
  • University of Pennsylvania Libraries, coordinated by Rachelle Nelson
  • Vice President for Government, Community & Public Affairs coordinated by Winnie Smart-Mapp
  • Wharton School Dean's Office, coordinated Jennifer O'Keefe
  • Wharton School Marketing Department, coordinated by Marcia Longworth
  • Wharton Undergraduate Division, coordinated by Meredith Wickman

Thank you to the entire University community for donating over one thousand gifts and toys. Thank you to the Dropsite Volunteers that collected all the gifts and toys and made it possible for us to respond to request for donations from our neighbors: Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell Holiday Dinner for the Homeless; Bridges To The Community; Carroll Park Community Council; Mantua Children's Project; McMichael Public School; One Day At A Time; Our Lady of the Rosary Church; People's Emergency Shelter; Potter's House Mission; Salvation Army; St. Vincent De Paul Society.

Thanks to Amy Forsyth for coordinating the Annual Coat Drive.  This year, our Penn Coat Drive benefited the Eighth Annual Philadelphia Cares Winter Coat Drive. Special thanks to the William Penn Charter School's 3rd grade class. They joined with us in our Penn VIPS Adopt A Family Program and provided gifts to a West Philadelphia family.  Thank you for your generosity!

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


January Volunteer Opportunities

Below is the current list of our special Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Commemoration at the University. Please check AARC's calendar at: for the complete listing of the University of Pennsylvania's MLK Commemoration. Please contact me at (215) 898-2020 or via e-mail, or Pamela Robinson at for additional information and to RSVP for any of the MLK Day programs.

A Day On...Not A Day Off for MLK Day! Make A Difference on MLK Day. Monday, January 19:

Join the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Committee as we participate in a School Spruce Up Service Project at West Philadelphia High School and Lea Elementary School. Volunteers will paint, clean halls and grounds of the two schools. Transportation to/from the schools will be provided. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; West Philadelphia High School, 48th & Walnut Sts., Lea Elementary School, 48th & Locust Street. Volunteers in need of transportation should meet at 37th & Walnut,  following the University's Opening Commemoration program at the Annenberg Center. Lunch will be served.

Children's Banner Painting Service Project: Children of all ages will paint commemorative MLK banners that reflect Dr. King's Legacy. Children will be supervised by adults. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The ARCH Auditorium, 3601 Locust Walk. Registration is requested. Lunch will be provided.     

Helping Hands at Houston Hall: Create personal gifts (lap blankets, cards, sock project) to be donated to West Philadelphia area shelters, nursing homes, and other charities. Drop by for a bit or stay the whole day as projects will vary in length. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Houston Hall, First Floor.

Philadelphia Reads Book Training: Learn how to put books on tape for the Philadelphia Reads program and learn about other volunteer opportunities. 10 a.m.-noon; Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall,  Contact Nicole Napson, (215) 686-4450 or

* * *

With a helping hand from you, tax season may never be the same! If you have experience preparing your own tax return and are comfortable with computer spreadsheets, you are a candidate to serve as a Volunteer Tax Preparer. All volunteers receive free tax training and are certified by the IRS. Under the supervision of tax professionals, you will assist families in preparing their federal and state income tax returns. If you wish to volunteer, but do not want to prepare tax returns, you can serve as a greeter, or help with data entry. Training commitment: 8 classroom hours and up to 8 on-site practice hours for Beginners; 4 classroom hours and up to 8 on-site practice hours for Advanced/Returning volunteers (fewer if Accountant). Volunteer commitment? Minimum of 6 sessions over tax season: Jan.-April. United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania seeks Volunteer Tax Preparers. E-mail:, call us at (215) 665-2544, or register online at



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 17, January 13, 2004