The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for flexibility with the annual donation drives organized by UMB’s Staff Senate and the Office of Community Engagement.
It’s a familiar site throughout the fall at UMB; students, staff, and faculty on campus are accustomed to seeing blue bins around campus collecting items for school supplies, Thanksgiving baskets, and holiday gifts to be shared with community partners and neighbors. As with so many other things both in work and personal lives, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for flexibility with the annual donation drives organized by UMB’s Staff Senate and the Office of Community Engagement (OCE).
Even without the ability to collect items in those familiar blue bins, the Staff Senate and OCE are committed to continuing to work with community partners to help meet their needs through these annual drives. This means working closely with partner organizations to assess changing needs and determine logistical planning for delivery of items. To remain flexible and best support this work, donation collection has gone virtual. Donation links (aka “virtual blue bins”) have been created for all three drives, and links to each drive can be found at the Staff Senate’s Community Outreach Fund page.
The current focus is on the School Supply Drive — donations collected through Oct. 9 will benefit local students attending James McHenry Elementary and Stewart Hill Academy, as well as UMB CURE Scholars and Police Athletic/Activites Leauge Program families. Donations in any amount are welcome, and the goal this year is to support 600 students. Visit www.umaryland.edu/give/StaffSenate/SchoolSupplies to learn more and donate. More details about Thanksgiving and holiday drives will be shared soon, so please be on the lookout for similar efforts during the holiday season.
Another way that our UMB community can help is simply by spreading the word to colleagues that this work is continuing and by sharing the link to the virtual blue bins throughout these campaigns. UMB is a great place to learn and work — and we can all support each other and our neighbors through these continued efforts to carry out our campus mission to serve the public good.