November 28, 2011 — Shiny new bicycles and soft stuffed animals, stacks of canned goods and boxes of cereal will be waiting for families in need at Madison House, the University of Virginia's student volunteer center, on Saturday. Every year, student volunteers work with the local Salvation Army to organize the Holiday Sharing donation drive.
Gifts and food will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Madison House, 170 Rugby Rd. Media are invited to cover the festive occasion.
Madison House volunteers recruit U.Va. community members and groups to sponsor families, whose first names, ages and wish lists are provided by the Salvation Army. Sponsors provide non-perishable food, a gift certificate for perishable items from a local grocery store and gifts for each family member. They then bring the packages to Madison House for the student volunteers to distribute to the families.
REPORTERS AND EDITORS: Ben Eppard, Madison House communications director, said the morning is the busiest time of the day. He requests that reporters contact him ahead of time, even if it's only an hour ahead, so he will be able to assist them. Contact Eppard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-977-7051.