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Purple Box holiday program to benefit Willow Domestic Violence Center

November 17, 2017
public safety officers smile and stand with a donation box

The Department of Public Safety is leading its third Holiday Purple Box campaign to help families displaced because of domestic violence. Throughout November, there will be Purple Boxes at points across campus for donations of new items, which will go to survivors of domestic violence and their families in the Rochester area. These items are distributed at the Willow Domestic Violence shelter during the holidays and for celebrations throughout the year.

Members of the University community can donate new items to the Purple Boxes now through Dec. 15. The purple boxes are located in the Public Safety Office at 612 Wilson Blvd.; the Public Safety Crime Prevention Office in Strong Memorial Hospital, located on G-6009; River Campus University Health Services Library – 2nd floor; and at Wilson Commons Connections  (Room 200), located on the first floor of Wilson Commons.

DPS’s Willow Center’s Holiday Wish List outlines the type of donations accepted and most needed:


  • Playdough
  • Multicultural baby dolls & Barbie dolls
  • Disney princess dolls
  • Remote control cars
  • Fire trucks & Hot Wheels
  • Play food
  • Dinosaurs & zoo animals
  • Board games (UNO, Trouble, Sorry, Monopoly)
  • Leap Frog/V-Tech toys
  • Children’s books
  • Tummy time play mats for infants
  • Musical infant toys, infant play sets
  • Arts and crafts
  • Clothing and pajamas (sizes infant – 14/16 boys and girls)
  • Kid’s snow boots & pants


  • Journals
  • Perfume/ Makeup
  • Cologne
  • MP3 players
  • Sport hoodies and hats
  • Flannel pants
  • Gift cards – Walmart, Target, Old Navy, iTunes
  • Wii Games – E for everyone
  • Play Station 3 Games – E for everyone


  • Pajamas/Robes
  • Bath sets
  • Journals
  • Slippers
  • Bath Towels

The Willow Center’s Purple Box campaign launches at this time each year in recognition of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Public Safety officers join with other law enforcement leaders from Rochester area police departments to help make the holidays a little brighter for those families who are in the shelter. Willow Center families have survived trauma, violence, abuse, and relocation and are just beginning their journey to a safe and empowered life. The children in the shelter are away from everything familiar to them–their home, their toys, their friends. A kind gesture of providing new toys can give a child in crisis a sense of normalcy and hope. The children are also allowed to pick out gifts for their mothers for the holidays.

University departments can start Purple Box campaigns, as well.  Contact any of the DPS representatives for more details.

For more information about the Department of Public Safety’s Purple Box campaign, contact Investigator Lorri Strem at 275-7410; Lt. Keri Stein at 276-4736, Officer Tiffany Street at 275-3333, or for Strong Memorial Hospital, Captain Cindy Coates at 273-5022.


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