Holiday Stars Project Archives

Final Recap of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project

Trick or Eat 2009The Holiday Stars Project for 2009 finished December 3, as Chancellor Ringeisen once again thanked and congratulated the UIS community for their efforts to eliminate hunger here in Springfield. You can read more and watch a video about the final celebration here.

Breakdown of Donations

Final collection amount: 6209 lbs!

This is 1897 pounds more than last year’s collection, an increase of 44%.

Campus collection points

The top five campus collection points were:

  • Business Services Building – 169 lbs
  • Student Life Building – 162 lbs
  • Office of the Chancellor – 144 lbs
  • Student Affairs Building – 129 lbs
  • Office of Development – 117 lbs

Total amount collected on campus: 1759 lbs

Total collected during the Trick-or-Eat competition: 4450 lbs

This truly was a total community effort; hundreds of students, faculty, and staff gave their time, effort, and resources to make this second year of the project even more successful than the first one. The Holiday Stars committee extends a sincere thank you to all who helped turn the University of Illinois Springfield into a positive force for good.

It shouldn’t stop here…

Though we often pay more attention to it during the holidays, hunger is a problem that is with us year round. If you’d like more information on hunger in Illinois and how you can help people in need, please go to or download the CNCS Anti-Hunger Toolkit (.pdf file).

The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center is here to help. If you’ve got an idea or a plan to take action in the Springfield community, please contact us at

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Results from the 2009 “Trick or Eat” Competition:

What a night! The Holiday Stars Project got off on the right foot this year. On Halloween night, fourteen student groups from UIS collected 4450.1 pounds of food, smashing last year’s total. The top three teams were:

  1. Alternative Spring Break – 610.1 pounds
  2. AmeriCorps M3C – 475.8 pounds
  3. International Student Association – 464.4 pounds

The Volunteer Center would like to thank all the groups for their time and effort. Well done! Many, many people will benefit from your generosity.

Trick or Eat Pie Graph

Photos from the 2009 Trick or Eat competition

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First ever UIS Holiday Stars Project:

Students load foodMaking a difference in people’s lives

  • September: The new project was announced. We set an initial goal to collect 2008 pounds of food. The Central Illinois Foodbank was chosen to benefit from the project.
  • October: The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center sponsored the first Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods competition at UIS. On Halloween night, student-led teams canvassed the neighborhoods of Springfield to see who could trick-or-treat for the most canned goods. Door-hangers were distributed to residents before Halloween to inform them of the project.

The students raised a massive amount of food from this event, already exceeding our initial goal! The committee set a new goal of 4,016 pounds, double the original target.

See “Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods” highlights

  • November: This month was the heart of our efforts, as the campus-wide campaign started to hit its stride. Students, faculty, and staff filled up the Students participate specially marked Holiday Stars Project bins with donated food items. The bins were located throughout many campus departments. Competition was sometimes fierce!

The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center also conducted a “Hunger Study” in November in cooperation with the Central Illinois Foodbank. This study was part of a broader, national survey on food insecurity in the United States.

  • December: Goal surpassed! The final Holiday Stars Project event was held December 4 in the Public Affairs Center. The UIS community eventually donated over 4,500 pounds of canned and nonperishable fruits, vegetables, soups, dinners, pasta, peanut butter and other food items. All proceeds benefited the Central Illinois Foodbank. We loaded up all donations onto a Foodbank truck and celebrated the holiday spirit of giving! See photos from the 2008 wrap-up event here.

Food collected by UISFood collected at UISStudents load the truckStudents donate foodStuffing the truck with foodChancellor Ringeisen and students with food collected for the food bank.Food bank truckStudents donate food

Trick or Treat for Canned Goods

Students participateThe 10 teams that took part in the university’s first “Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods” competition on Halloween collected 2,049 pounds of food, surpassing the original Holiday Stars Project goal of 2,008 pounds on the very first night of the project!

Kelly Thompson, director of the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, challenged the campus community to respond in kind.

“Given the students’ enthusiasm and energy for this project,” she said. “The Project Committee urges the rest of the university to double our first goal and donate 4,016 pounds of food by December 4.”

The second year of the program (renamed “Trick or Eat”) was even more successful then the first. You can see highlights of the 2009 competition here.