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Kent State University Helps Brighten Holiday Spirit

Posted Nov. 7, 2011 | Kahley Colaluca

Funds raised through Kent State’s United Way campaign support local charity efforts
enter photo description
Kent State faculty and staff can help put smiles on the
faces of many this holiday season by supporting the
United Way campaign.

Donations to the United Way from Kent State University faculty and staff make food and toy distribution to Kent residents possible this holiday season through Kent Social Services.

With support from Kent State University’s United Way campaign, nearly 585 local families will receive a turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The children in these families will also receive two toys, one stocking stuffer and smaller gifts like books and school supplies, courtesy of Kent Social Services, one of the many organizations United Way supports.

“This holiday program is great for low income families,” says Christie Anderson, Kent Social Services’ manager. “When families are forced to choose between rent, food or clothing, Christmas presents drop to the bottom of the priority list.”

The toy distribution takes place on Dec. 13 and 14. Students are asked to volunteer by sorting food and toys starting the week of Dec. 5. Donations are also encouraged and can be taken to Kent Social Services at 1066 S. Water St. Toys for teenagers and young boys are requested.

The help from Kent Social Services and the United Way does not stop there, though. Year-round, approximately 1,200 families in Kent receive two grocery bags each full of food.

With donations from the United Way and the Campus Kitchen Program, Kent Social Services is also able to provide hot lunches for area residents five days per week. Each week, they serve approximately 60 people.

United Way of Portage County focuses its funding on local services that benefit the community. Kent State faculty and staff can contribute by making a payroll deduction gift, ensuring that their money goes to a designated organization of their choice.

You can help put smiles on the faces of many this holiday season. For more information about how to give and support Kent State’s United Way campaign, visit

For more information about the United Way of Portage County, call 330-297-1424 or visit