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’Tis the Season for Giving

The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement has kicked off its annual holiday food and gift drive, an annual Franklin & Marshall tradition for more than two decades. People may donate non-perishable food and gifts through Dec. 11 at the Steinman College Center.

Beth Lichty, coordinator of volunteers at the Ware institute, already has seen excellent participation from the campus community.

"I am touched by the level of generosity and response of faculty, professional staff and students in meeting the needs of our community," Lichty says.

People interested in donating to the gift drive may visit the Ware Institute's Web site, which contains gift wishes for more than 280 children, families and seniors throughout Lancaster. Instructions for donating are listed on the Web site.

Ware Institute student interns put together a holiday giving display in the College Center atrium: (from left) Tina Phillips '10, Marissa Badgley '10, Mona Lotfipour '12, Kimberly Dustman '10 and Beth Lichty, volunteer coordinator.

The gift drive benefits the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Lancaster; School District of Lancaster Homeless Project students and International School students; Reynolds Middle School children; and Church World Services/Lutheran Refugee Services families from Nepal and Bhutan.

Donations of non-perishable food will go toward the Lancaster County Council of Churches food bank.

The Ware Institute also will accept new or gently used unwrapped toys for the annual Toys for Tots campaign run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Toys for children ages 5-13 should be placed in the marked cardboard bins in Steinman.

The holiday giving efforts follow on the heels of the successful United Way campaign, which wrapped up Nov. 13. Nearly 100 members of the faculty, professional staff and administration donated $25,957.07, an increase of $2,261.99 over the 2008 campaign.