HOLIDAY HELPING: Toy Drive, Pet Baskets and T-Day Food Run

Food Drive Total

 Mail bins filled with food.
Mail Services provided this photo of a portion of this year’s 2,213-pound collection in the Holiday Food Drive held Nov. 1-18. The Davis campus collection amounted to 1,486 pounds, which will go to the Yolo Food Bank; and the Sacramento campus collection totaled 727 pounds for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. (Audrey Wagner/UC Davis)

The UC Davis mail team overflows with holiday spirit! First Mail Services conducted its annual Holiday Food Drive, which finished up last week. Now they’re partnering with the Marine Corps League on its Toys for Tots drive for Yolo County children.

The drive asks for toys for recipients from infant to 12 years old. You can leave donations (new, unwrapped) with your outgoing mail, or drop them in blue bins around the campus:

  • Fire Department, Kleiber Hall Drive
  • Police Department, Kleiber Hall Drive
  • Safety Services, 276 Hoagland Hall
  • Human Resources Administration Building, Orchard Road
  • Finance, Operations and Administration, 376 Mrak Hall
  • Facilities Management business office, Crocker Lane
  • Biology Academic Success Center, 1023 Sciences Lab Building
  • Anthropology-Sociology, 328 Young Hall
  • Cashier and Payment Solutions Office, 1200 Dutton Hall
  • Accounting and Financial Services, 1441 Research Park Drive
  • AF&S Purchasing, 260 Cousteau Place, Suite 150
  • AF&S Distribution Services, Hopkins Services Complex, 615 Hopkins Road
  • Information and Educational Technology, 3820 Chiles Road
  • Shared Services Center, 260 Cousteau Place, Suite 150
  • Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Large Animal Clinic
  • California National Primate Research Center

• Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets — Volunteer staff and retirees from the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital are seeking monetary contributions to provide food and other supplies as well as winter coats and sweaters for homeless people’s pets.

The distribution is scheduled for Dec. 10 at the Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless, run by UC Davis veterinary students with supervision by faculty and others who volunteer their time. The nonprofit clinic is open one day a month near Sacramento Loaves & Fishes. Watch Mercer Clinic videos, including Happy Holidays at the Mercer Clinic.

 Puppy and blanket.
Puppies like this one need your help this holiday season.

The pet basket program is in its 21st year, while the coats and sweaters are a recent addition. “The smaller, very young and elderly dogs and cats especially need sweaters and coats to protect them against nighttime temperatures,” said Eileen Samitz, a retiree who coordinates the holiday program.

“Many of these animals would not survive the winter without them.” Such losses can be devastating, especially for homeless people who have only dogs and cats for family.

The volunteers hoping to collect enough money for 350 sweaters and 250 coats. The need is large, Samitz said, because the program depleted its supply during last year’s long winter.

Money is also needed for the baskets, 130 in all, to be filled with food, treats, toys and brushes (90 boxes for dogs and 40 for cats).

Donations can be made online, or by mail to Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets; University of California, Davis; 1460 Drew Ave., Suite 100; Davis 95618 (make checks payable to “Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets”). All donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about how to help the Mercer Clinic Holiday Pet Baskets Program, contact coordinator Eileen Samitz by email or phone, 530-756-5165.

Running of the Turkeys Update 9 a.m. Nov. 27: “We did it! We met all three of our goals,” physics professor Lloyd Knox said in his report on The Running Coupling Constants' participation in Thanksgiving Day's Running of the Turkeys, a fundraiser for the Yolo Food Bank. The team raised $5,653 (they had set a goal of $4,400), won the largest team competition (55) and “we had a great time doing it," Knox said. The "largest team" win was the first ever for the physics department-led team, after several years of coming close. Also, physics graduate student Ben Godfrey won the 5K run, Professor Richard Scalettar donned his turkey suit and won best dressed (again!) and research physicist Michael Gregg’s dog won “first dog across the finish line.”

 the Running Coupling Constants, group photo.
The victorious Running Coupling Constants

In his email report to the Department of Physics, Knox thanked everyone “who supported us with donations, with sponsorships for students, by registering for the run (and) with recruiting."

"We can all be very proud of our department for its accomplishments on many fronts, including this expression of support for many in our county who will benefit from this assistance," Knox said.


Physics professor Lloyd Knox is organizing a campus team for the Yolo Food Bank’s Thanksgiving Day fundraiser for the fifth consecutive year — and this year’s team has a new name: The Running Coupling Constants. But, he said, you don’t have to be affiliated with the physics department or know the meaning of “running coupling constants” to run with this team — or to donate! He’s set a team fundraising goal of $4,400, and notes that all registration fees and donations will be matched until the goal is met. The match will come from Knox and his physics faculty colleagues Richard Scalettar and David Wittman.

The registration page for the Woodland run is here. To join The Running Coupling Constants, click on “Team” in the index on the left-hand side of the page, then scroll or search. If you’re donating to the overall fundraising effort, you can trigger The Running Coupling Constants match by donating through the team’s fundraising page. (Enter your donation amount and click “Continue.")

Contact Knox by email with questions, or if you’re interested in starting your own team.

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