Holiday Drives Seek Food, Books, and Clothing

December 1, 2009

Mary Baldwin students pitch in at a home site with Rebuilding Augusta, one of many ways the Mary Baldwin community gives back.

“It’s not our job to finish the work, but we are not free to walk away from it.”

Steve Grande, Mary Baldwin’s director of civic engagement, likes to use the phrase above, excerpted from the Torah, to motivate people to participate in community service. “We do not have to solve the problem, but we cannot simply look away and pretend we never saw it. Action can take many forms, such as sharing the story with family and friends, raising money, alerting politicians, and lending a helping hand to the individual or group in need,” Grande wrote in the December issue of The Cupola.

There are reasons — and ways — to give during the holiday season just about everywhere you look. Three collection projects at Mary Baldwin will have an impact in the local community as well as thousands of miles from campus.

  • Food Bank Drive: Spencer Center through December 18. Demand has shot up at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, which serves the central Shenandoah Valley. Between December 2008 and July 2009, there were 3,230 new food stamp recipients in Staunton and Augusta County. In central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, food bank distribution more than doubled from approximately 8.7 million pounds in 2007 to an estimated 18 million pounds this year. The Mary Baldwin community can help relieve the strain on our local food bank by donating non-perishable food items, cash, or checks (made out to BRAFB). Last year, Mary Baldwin raised $2,475 and collected 351 pounds of food.
  • “Got Pants?” Clothing Collection: Hunt Dining Hall, Spencer Center, Carpenter Academic Building, and Tullidge, Kable, and King residence halls until December 12. Cleaning out your closets and dressers before heading home for the holidays? Donation boxes are set up to collect women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing for Valley Mission and New Directions shelters in Staunton. Most needed items are winter clothing for men, women, and children, including shirts, pants, shoes, gloves, hats, scarves, and coats. Sponsored by the Sociology Club and College Democrats. Contact Renee Miller or Kimberly Parker for more information.
  • Schools for Schools Book Drive: Carpenter Academic Building, Spencer Center, and Bookstore through December 12. Organizer Kimberly Parker ’11 began learning about the organization Invisible Children in high school, and she brought its mission to campus when she enrolled at Mary Baldwin. The current drive is focused on book donations to be given to Lacor Secondary School in Uganda. Drop off college textbooks and study guides from the past 10 years, workbooks (with no missing pages), fiction and non fiction books, children’s books, travel books, CDs/DVDs, and books on tape.Parker is also looking for a few people to help with collecting books at libraries and bookstores in the community. E-mail her at