Carnegie Mellon University

Season of Giving

There is no better way to end the year than to support the local community. Each year from November through December, students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to support local families and communities through several initiatives.


Each year, Carnegie Mellon students, faculty, staff, and organizations take time in November to give back to the Pittsburgh community. The Yinzgiving program provides our community with opportunities to learn more about local needs and give back to our community partners. Giving back can occur through individual efforts by making donations or volunteering time, or can occur through teamwork by committing to donate a Thanksgiving Basket to our community partners.

Yinzgiving is designed to allow individuals to help the Pittsburgh community in ways that best fit their own capabilities. Maybe you have some extra non-perishable food items that you’d like to donate, or have an extra winter coat lying around that could use a good home. Perhaps you’d like to make a monetary donation, or would rather volunteer your time to help our community partners. Yinzgiving can help connect your resources to those who can benefit from them.

In addition to individual giving efforts, the Yinzgiving program also aims to donate over 100 Thanksgiving Baskets containing all of the ingredients for a delicious and nutritious meal. Our non-profit partners Light of Life Rescue MissionOperation Better BlockRainbow Kitchen, and Sojourner House distribute the baskets to local families in need so they can celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We hope that you can join us in supporting the Pittsburgh community this holiday season.

We are proud to support four community partners that work directly with individuals and families in Pittsburgh. Each of these organizations has its own unique mission and needs, and they all do amazing work to uplift various populations in Pittsburgh.

Light of Life Rescue Mission

Light of Life Rescue Mission is a place where hope and healing meet for men, women, and families experiencing homelessness, poverty or addiction. They transform lives through the Christian faith, offer services, and are a safe refuge for hurting people in our community. Their immediate needs include items such as winter coats and accessories, which can be dropped off at their Donation Center. Monetary donations can be made online.

Operation Better Block

Operation Better Block aims to strategize, organize and mobilize to benefit the Homewood Community. They provide technical and community development assistance, foster youth development, participate in housing development efforts, support investments to stimulate economic development, and build cooperative partnerships with others to promote community sustainability. Their needs include food items and hygiene products. Monetary donations can be made online.

Rainbow Kitchen Community Services

Rainbow Kitchen Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families and individuals through programs that address hunger, child nutrition and support services. Their needs include non-perishable foods and other household items. Monetary donations help keep Rainbow Kitchen’s doors open and allow them to provide services to our neighbors.

Sojourner House

Sojourner House provides compassionate, faith-based residential recovery services to mothers and children in the Pittsburgh area. They help mothers learn to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and chemical abuse while being surrounded by what matters the most to them: their children. You can support Sojourner House by purchasing items from their Amazon Wishlist or by making a monetary donation online.

Toys for Tots

Distribute Christmas gifts to children in the local area through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to donate new, unwrapped toys, which can be dropped off at the CMU Police Department (300 South Craig Street Pittsburgh, PA 15213). 

You can shop from our Amazon Wishlist and the toys will be delivered for you. Please include your name so we can confirm with you that we've received your gift.

You can also visit the local Toys for Tots chapter and donate funds directly.