Every December, Southern and the New Haven Police Department co-sponsor a “Friends of Rudolph” program that collects new, unwrapped toys to give to local New Haven families in need. The event typically begins with an arts and craft session and then a gift-giving assembly in Lyman Center. The day’s events are run by volunteers, including SCSU faculty and staff members, students from various campus clubs and organizations, New Haven police officers, and New Haven area high school students.
This year, because of safety precautions around COVID-19, the 29th annual university-sponsored Friends of Rudolph program was a drive-up event held at New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park. Santa and his elves were on hand to distribute coats, toys, books, and more to members of the community. Southern and the New Haven Police Department were joined as sponsors by 94.3 WYBC, The City of New Haven, The Youth & Recreation Department, and the university’s community partners.