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.

Thanksgiving Basket Drive

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

The Thanksgiving Basket Drive is a team-based program that challenges groups of people all around campus to commit to creating and donating Thanksgiving baskets for families in the Pittsburgh area. Each Thanksgiving basket contains all the ingredients needed to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including favorite side dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied yams, green bean casserole, and more. Once the Thanksgiving baskets have been created and collected, they are then distributed to our community partners so that they can provide them to local families during the holiday season.

This year we collected baskets for Sojourner House, Rainbow Kitchen, and Operation Better Block. Thank you to all participants that joined us in supporting the Pittsburgh Community this holiday season.

We are proud to support three 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.

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.

Annual Toy Drive

SLICE and the Carnegie Mellon University Police Department are sponsoring the annual Toy Drive benefiting Play It Forward. Play It Forward is a Pittsburgh nonprofit in its 13th year of providing toys to area families. 

We are accepting donations from November 20 - December 8, 2023, of either new or gently used toys. Play It Forward will not accept stuffed animals, clothes, or books. 

You can participate in the toy drive by either dropping off toys at the marked bins across campus, or by purchasing a toy from our Amazon Wish List. Please make sure to select “Meggan Lloyd - Play It Forward” for the shipping address. 

Toys can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • The Cohon University Center, on the first floor by SLICE
  • CMU Police Station
  • Mellon Institute Lobby
  • Warner Hall
  • Hunt Library
  • Tepper Quad

Thank you in advance for your support! Questions about the toy drive can be directed to Meggan Lloyd, Assistant Director in SLICE.