Winter Wishes is an annual holiday-themed event partnering with six pre-schools in the City of New Brunswick since December 2009. The pre-schools are a part of the Puerto Rican Action Board (also known as PRAB), a human services agency in the city, and Catholic Charities.
Winter Wishes provides over 400 New Brunswick pre-school children with gifts for the holiday season that their families may not be able to provide. Each child’s wish is “adopted” by a member of the Rutgers community to create a personal holiday experience. The children will also be invited to a holiday event to remember with activities, games, and to receive their gifts.

Adopt a Child’s Winter Wish!

Members of the Rutgers community and groups will be able to register to adopt a wish using an online registration form that will be made available in October.  Once you complete the form you will be contacted with the information about your child via email. Once you have received this email, you must confirm your participation and acceptance within 48 hours.  If you have any questions about adopting a child’s winter wish, RUPA will be tabling at various student centers in early November and will be able to answer any questions you may have. You may also email

By registering, members of the community volunteer to purchase gifts for a child based on their top three wants and top three needs. This may include toys and games, but often the children will need basic essentials like clothing and winter gear.  We ask that you spend around $20 per child.

Individual and Group Registration

Members of the Rutgers community can register for wish adoption as a Group or individual.  Groups include student organizations, fraternities and sororities, University departments, and others.  Students, faculty and staff may register as individuals. There is a maximum limit of 10 wishes per group and 3 wishes per individual registration.

Both individual and group registration will open on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 2PM and will close on Friday, November 22, 2019 at 11:59PM. 

All gifts must be brought to the Douglass Student Center, Trayes Hall on Tuesday, November 26 anytime between 3:00pm-8:00pm. 

To adopt a child’s wish fill out this form.


Volunteer Opportunities

Winter Wishes provides a number of volunteer opportunities for Rutgers students. Space for volunteers at these events are limited, so please sign up in a timely fashion. Volunteer registration will be open in mid-November and it is required for participation. Please email RUPA with any questions with any questions at

Tuesday, November 26, 2019: Wrapping Party

Co-Sponsored with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs

Douglass Student Center, Trayes Hall
Volunteers are invited to pack, wrap, and decorate donated gifts as well as create cards for the children. Volunteers will be accepted at the event on a first-come, first-served basis until all spots are filled. Please bring your Rutgers event pass for mobile check-in. There will be NO pre-registration required.

Saturday, December 7, 2019: Winter Wishes Party

Douglass Student Center, Trayes Hall
1:00PM – 3:00PM
Student organizations are invited to host a table and plan activities OR to perform at the Winter Wishes Party as well. Groups will be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis as spaces are limited. 

To sign up as an organization, fill out this form:
To volunteer as an individual, fill out this form:


Winter Wishes Donations

RUPA is currently seeking donations, including but not limited to:

  • Monetary Donations
  • Gift cards
  • Children’s toys unwrapped (new only please!)
  • Children’s clothing unwrapped (new only please!)
  • Holiday Decorating Materials
  • Wrapping Materials: Scissors, tape, gift boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, etc.

If you are a local business interested in donating money or supplies, please contact RUPA at for more information.

We are open to receiving corporate sponsorship as well. Please contact us for more information regarding sponsorship packages.