Hurricanes Holiday Gift Drive aims to help children and seniors in need

UM Police donate gifts to the 2021 Hurricane Holiday Gift Drive. Photo credit: Butler Center for Service & Leadership

This November and December, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership aims to make the holiday seasons of children and senior citizens in South Florida better through the Hurricanes Holiday Gift Drive.

From Wednesday, Nov. 9 to Friday, Dec. 2, the Butler Center encourages the University of Miami community to donate any new, unwrapped gifts to the Gift Drive.

The 2021 Gift Drive received almost 1,100 gifts that were donated to Hope for Miami and Home Instead Senior Care.

This year, the children’s gifts will be donated to Nicklaus Children Hospital, Just Kids Center, Inc. and Hope for Miami and the senior citizens’ gifts will be donated to Home Instead Senior Care.

In addition to having collection bins in their suites and hosting gift-wrapping events, student organizations can become sponsors of the Gift Drive by donating a portion of their Non-Student Activity Fee Allocation Committee (Non-SAFAC) funding to the Gift Drive, which can be used to purchase gifts. Student organizations can also choose to sponsor individual senior citizens and receive tags with specific gift requests.

Lindsey Goldstein, the Associate Director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, is excited to help organize the Gift Drive during her first year in this position.

“I love that the Butler Center has a tradition of doing this, and not only the Butler Center but the whole UM community really coming together with the holidays, and I love that it’s for children and for seniors. I think that’s really unique,” Goldstein said.

Ashley Babulal, a sophomore majoring in microbiology and immunology and global health and a Student Experience Coordinator with the Butler Center, is helping to organize the Gift Drive, reaching out to students and faculty departments regarding the Gift Drive, and will help in separating the gifts once they are collected to ensure they are sent to the right destination.

“It’s a really great program because not only are you giving back to the kids in need, you’re also giving back to the senior citizens who are often overlooked,” Babulal said.

Donation bins are located throughout campus, with the main donation sites being the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, located in suite 204 in the Shalala Student Center and the Whitten University Center Lower Lounge. Student organizations can request a collection bin for their suite by email at or by phone at 305-284-4483.