Holiday Outreach

Each Holiday season, we invite you to join with your colleagues at Princeton University to help make the season bright for local families, individuals and agencies who are in need during the holidays.

Whether you want to participate individually or as a group, there is someone who can use your help.

Below is a list of local agencies and special initiatives that will help you to connect with those in need during the holiday season.

If you have any questions, please contact Erin Metro at (609) 258-5144 or send e-mail to

In addition to the office of Community and Regional Affairs partners with various departments to coordinate these events during the holiday season: Holiday Food Drive, Grateful Greetings, A Cappella JamHoliday Hoops and Community Threads.   

Needed Items
Arm in Arm (formerly the Crisis Ministry) Arm In Arm partners with 1,000 to 2,000 families and individuals each month to help them regain stability in housing, food security, and work. Located at three service sites in Trenton and Princeton, Arm In Arm offers direct aid and resources for Homelessness Prevention, Hunger Prevention & Nutrition Education, and Workforce Development.

Welcome Home Packages: New cleaning supplies, kitchen staples, and bedding and bath essentials. 

Personal care items:toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoos, conditioners, razors, shaving creams, soaps, lotions, feminine products, diapers and wipes, and laundry detergent.    

Other gift ideas: non-perishable food (especially canned low or no-sugar-added fruits and low sodium vegetables)

Drop off holiday items Monday–Thursday, 1:30–4 p.m. at the Arm in Arm office which is located in the basement of Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau St. (behind Richardson Auditorium). Contact Arm in Arm to arrange drop-off other than times listed above.

Contact Keating Johnson at (609) 396-9355 x36 or

HomeFront HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Mercer County by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community.  

Most needed items: personal care and hygiene, items; diapers (large sizes, (3-5); winter coats and accessories

Other gift ideas: socks and undergarments for children ages 2 - 14; new or gently used coats; receiving blankets; sleepers size 0 to 12 months; diapers of all sizes; cooking utensils; pots, pans; dishes; cups; flatware; bed linens; pillows; blankets; mattress covers (twin and double sizes); towels; plus anything that makes a house a home.


Drop off items at 1880 Princeton Avenue, Lawrenceville, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., or Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Volunteer: Thanksgiving Drive: Prepare and donate a Thanksgiving basket for a family in need. Help organize baskets and prepare for distribution. 

Christmas Wishes Drive: Help prepare gifts for distribution (December 4-23, weekdays)

Contact Sydney Gecha at (609) 989-9417 x137 or

One Simple Wish One Simple Wish was founded by a foster/adoptive parent who wanted to empower more people to support children who've been victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment in very simple yet meaningful ways. Fulfill a wish by browsing though the organization's online listing of wishes posted on behalf of foster children and at-risk youth all over the United States.  Needed items: gift cards from Target, Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Applebee's, TGI Friday's, AMC Theatres, Regal/United Artists Theater, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts. 

Gift cards can be mailed to: One Simple Wish Attn: Holiday Giving, 1977 Olden Avenue #292, Trenton, NJ  08618. 

Or delivered in person Monday-Friday during business hours to: One Simple Wish, 354 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ  08608.

Volunteer: To find opportunities visit

Contact One Simple Wish at (609) 883-8484 or

Princeton Human Services

The Human Services Department volunteers have made hundreds of Princeton children’s holiday wishes come true by providing them with at least one gift.

The department distributes hundreds of applications to low income families in Princeton. Children up to age 12 fill out a holiday wish list which include two gifts they would like for the holidays, which are not to exceed $75 dollars.  

Needed items: holiday gifts for children

Please keep in mind these wishes are a true need and may be the only gift the child receives.  

Contact Princeton's Human Services Department at (609) 688-2055 or email, no later than Friday, November 30.


Princeton Nursery School Princeton Nursery School is a small, nonprofit childcare and preschool center providing low to moderate income working parents with affordable tuition rates for needed childcare services.

Needed items: 
Winter clothing, coats, hats, gloves, boots, socks and underwear for boys and girls age 2.5 - 5 years old

Canned goods and non-perishable food items

Personal care and hygiene items for children (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap) 

Other gift ideas: gift cards to local supermarkets, CVS pharmacy, Walgreens, Target and Walmart

Items can be dropped off at the Princeton Nursery School, 78 Leigh Avenue, Princeton no later than December 18.

Volunteer: Be a classroom or office assistant. Volunteer one time or on a regular basis

Contact Rosanda Wong at
609-921-8606 or

Princeton Young Achievers

The Princeton Young Achievers is Princeton’s only afterschool program that provides homework/enrichment help to children from lower income neighborhoods. PYA operates after school  for children grades K-5.

Most needed items: Updated chapter books (Diary of a Wimpy Kid/Harry Potter) graphic novels, Pete the Cat, Fly Guy, Pokemon, Snap Circuits, ZOOB S.T.E.M. Challenge.


Other gift ideas: Large bean bags and updated resources for K-5.

Deliver items to the Princeton Family YMCA at 59 Paul Robeson Place. Items should be delivered by Monday, December 17 to insure delivery before the PYA center closes for winter vacation. The YMCA hours are Monday-Friday, 5:45 am-10:30 pm; Saturday, 7 am-8 pm; Sunday, 9 am-8 pm. Please label the items P.Y.A. attn. Trinidad Rodriguez. 

Volunteer: The Princeton Family YMCA and the PYA program welcomes volunteers. There are many different types of opportunities.

Volunteer opportunities are listed on the YMCA website.

Contact Trinidad Rodriguez at (609) 497-9622 x 203 or

Rescue Mission of Trenton The Rescue Mission operates an emergency shelter and provides addiction services and housing for those in need in Trenton. Most needed items: hygiene kits for the men and women including toothpaste, toothbrushes and shampoo

Items can be dropped off at 98 Carroll Street, P.O. Box 790, Trenton.

Contact Niki Graham at (609) 695-1436 x 183 or

SAVE SAVE operates as a limited admission shelter with contracts to serve Princeton Township, Princeton Borough and Lawrence Township animal control centers. 

Most needed items: Kuranda beds, bleach, paper towels

Other gift ideas: animal care items, food and treats, housekeeping and office supplies

Items can be dropped off at 1010 Route 601, Skillman, NJ, Tuesday-Saturday 12 pm-6 pm, Sunday-Monday 12 pm-4 pm. 

Volunteer: Dog walking, dog training, cat socialization cage cleaning, office help and adoption day help. All new volunteers must attend an orientation. More information is on the SAVE website

Contact Donielle Killian-Gioia at (609) 921-6122 or

Senior Care Services Senior Care Services is a nonprofit organization located in Princeton dedicated to assisting the home-bound elderly in our community. The organization’s services include health-related transportation, food shopping and friendly visiting.

Needed items: gift cards to ShopRite, McCaffrey's, Rite Aid and CVS


Mail gift cards to P.O. Box 1517, Princeton, NJ, 08542. To arrange a drop-off email or call (609) 921-8888

Volunteer: Help is needed year round to help with grocery shopping, driving clients to medical appointments and friendly visits.

Contact Mary Bliss at (609) 921-8888 or

UIH Family Partners UIH Family Partners, Trenton's oldest non-profit, was established as an orphanage in 1859 by leading Trenton families. UIH focuses on protecting children in families where one parent, frequently the father, does not live with their children. UIH serve more than 1,500 fathers a year, helping them love, mentor, and support their children. Most needed items: toys and games for ages 2 - 12

Call (609) 695-3663 to arrange pickup. 


Womanspace provides options and works to decrease the isolation and increase the safety for victims of domestic violence. They are a nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the quality of life for women in crisis. 

Most needed items: thermal long john sets for women, boys and girls all sizes. Underwear and socks for boys all sizes. Sneakers for women and girls and boys from infant to age 16.

Other gift ideas: gifts cards, clothing for women and children, toys

Drop off holiday donations between Dec. 3 and Dec. 19, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., 1530 Brunswick Ave., Lawrenceville.

Volunteer: Volunteers are needed for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault teams. More information is on the Womanspace website.

Contact Althea Jones at (609) 394-9000 or

YWCA Princeton “St Nicholas Project”

Participants in The St. Nicholas Project are matched with a Princeton family and purchase gifts and a supermarket gift certificate for food. The Project allows parents to create the magic of Christmas for their children. Having a gift given to a child by a stranger (however well meaning) cannot compare to the feeling of waking up on Christmas Day to find that Santa came to their house. The magic of Christmas is an invaluable gift to these children and their parents. Needed items: holiday gifts

Email Jill Jachera to be matched with a family. Provide her with the following information:
1) Your current contact information (name, email and phone).
2) Size of family you wish to be matched with (small, medium, or large).
3) Gender preference of children, if you have one.
4) If you do not wish to adopt an entire family but would like to donate to the program; books, pajamas, hats, gloves, or money will be accepted. All items will be distributed to St. Nicholas families.

All items MUST be dropped off on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 8 a.m.– 12 noon, at the Bramwell House of the YWCA on the corner of Rt. 206 and Paul Robeson Place.

Contact Jill Jachera at