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President  Robert Bruininks  holds a check representing  this year's total raised: $950,381.06.

President Robert Bruininks holds a check representing this year's total raised: $950,381.06.

Spirit of giving is alive at the U

From eNews, December 18, 2003

In October and November 2003, the University of Minnesota community opened up their checkbooks and closets to help those less fortunate. The 2003 Community Fund Drive raised about $950,000 and a new event--Winter Warmth for U--resulted in four busloads of donated clothing. "The Community Fund Drive makes a powerful difference in the lives of Minnesotans," says Terri Anthony, president of Community Health Charities. "And in the midst of a challenging economic landscape, U of M employees contributed mightily to support the important issues facing our community, including health, human services, and affordable housing." The drive is an annual tradition organized by University faculty and staff. Each year, about 250 employees volunteer to assist with the fund-raiser by organizing college- or department-level activities. This year, the drive raised $950,381.06, which was distributed to several Minnesota charitable organizations. The Winter Warmth for U clothing drive for Twin Cities children and families, was conceived by two University students, Surbhi Madia and John Barber. The two-and-a-half week drive collected donations of new and gently used clothing from residence halls, student housing near campus, and a Coffman Memorial Union location. A University Campus Circulator bus made three trips to drop off the donations to Pillsbury United Communities, and a fourth trip would have been necessary had it not been for the KDWB radio station truck. Seeing that the drive had exceeded expectations, station representatives who were covering the event offered the students the services of their truck.

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