ECU Gives


ECU gives this holiday season

Each year East Carolina University looks to its faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters to help those in need have a joyous holiday season. This year ECU contributed gifts, toys, food, warm clothing, and supply items to the community through numerous initiatives.

Woody Edwards and Susan O’Beirne help unload gifts and food for Pitt County Children’s Protective Services.

In its 13th year, the Annual ECU Holiday Drive was once again a success, delivering necessary supplies to needy families and human service organizations in Pitt County. This year’s campuswide effort sponsored 16 children’s and eight elderly wish lists—with each child’s family also receiving a box of food and supplies—and contributed bulk donations of food and supplies to Flynn Home for Men, Ronald McDonald House, REAL Crisis Center, and the New Directions Thrift Shop.

“We just try to do the best we can and help the most people and agencies we can,” said Leslie Craigle, of the ECU Business Services Holiday Drive Committee. “We try to help some of the smaller charitable groups who help people who have fallen through the cracks of the support system.”

Aside from ECU Business Services—who sponsors the Holiday Drive—and the many groups and individuals who participated in it, other university bodies worked hard to contribute this year.

ECU Athletics collected more than 500 new toys for Toys for Tots through collections at four ECU men’s and women’s home basketball games. Additionally, the Tickets for Troops campaign saw Pirate fans donate more than 2,700 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl tickets to military personnel stationed in Hawaii who were unable to return to their homes for the holidays.

Additionally, a cash donation was made to the Pitt County Adult Services Holiday Fund from ECU’s Administration and Finance Employee Appreciation Holiday Breakfast, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies collected for Toys for Tots, and ECU Dowdy Student Stores accepted donations of toys or canned food in return for a photo with PeeDee at their Annual Holiday Sale.

Christa Radford and Kelly Shook drop off gifts sponsored through the 13th Annual ECU Holiday Drive.

This fall the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center and the East Carolina Alumni Association began a monumental food drive with a goal of collecting 100,000 pounds of food by 2009. Participation in the food drive was part of the Annual Holiday Drive as well, and due to the 100,000-pound challenge, donations were generous. “Food collection was a lot greater than previous years,” said Craigle. “We had nearly 1,000 pounds of food donated this year.”

Shawn Moore, community partner coordinator for the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, is proud of the effort ECU has made only a few months into the food drive, having collected more than a quarter of the 100,000 pound goal this fall and holiday season, and she hopes ECU will remember to continue giving after the holidays.

“It’s a great way to show that Pirates care about hunger,” she said.