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Athletes Deliver Smiles With Annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative

Athletes Deliver Smiles With Annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative

Yale student-athletes visited Augusta Lewis Troup School on Friday, Dec. 9, to distribute gifts collected through the Yale Athletic Department’s annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative. The initiative pairs Yale varsity teams with needy families, and this year the Bulldogs efforts will make many children very happy.  Thirty-two of Yale’s 35 varsity teams contributed to the effort.

Each Yale team is given a “wish list” from a needy family, and the student-athletes then raise funds and shop for the gifts the children have requested. The gifts started piling up in Ray Tompkins House during the week leading up to the donation.

“When the gifts for the holidays giving initiative begin to pile up outside my office, I am always amazed by our student-athletes’ generosity and their commitment to the New Haven community,” said Alison Cole ’99, Associate AD for Development & Community Outreach. “This program is the epitome of teamwork, selflessness and goodwill. I am truly honored to be affiliated with it and the students who make it happen.”

The gifts were loaded on to a school bus in front of Ray Tompkins House on Friday. Five Yale students helped make the delivery: senior Talis Trevino (Gymnastics and Chair of the Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee), junior Heather May (Sailing), junior Peter Spaulding (Men's Lacrosse), junior Joy Kim (Women's Golf), and junior Krissy Chapman (Women's Lacrosse).

“It was really great to see the participation of so many athletes and teams, and I know that many children have so much to look forward to this holiday season!  I am grateful to the team captains who helped me to organize their teams and to the athletic administration for helping us to make this event possible, ” said Trevino. 

The Holiday Gift Giving Initiative is one of many efforts by Yale Athletics’ Thomas W. Ford '42 Community Outreach Program to get Yale student-athletes involved in the New Haven community. It has grown in size dramatically; there were just eight varsity teams participating in 2006.