Community Engagement

Interested in connecting with—and giving back to—the world beyond our offices and campuses?

Whether you want to help fund school uniforms for city school students, bring holiday cheer to a family in need, spend a day in community service, or volunteer your assistance in some other way, JHU’s many service, charitable, and community programs are a great place to start.

Vernon Rice Memorial Holiday Turkey Program

One quick and easy way to give to the community is through our holiday turkey program. A $45 donation will provide a basket of a fresh turkey and vegetables from a local farm for a family in need. The baskets are delivered by St. Anthony of Padua Church for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In order to purchase a Thanksgiving meal for a family, donations must be received by Nov. 7, 2022.

You can donate via credit or debit card. Please click the link below to make a donation.

Who Was Vernon Rice?

Our Vernon Rice Turkey program is named for Vernon Rice, a former JHU employee who launched his own unofficial charity effort in 1976. Vernon, a maintenance mechanic for the Homewood campus vehicle fleet, wanted to bring help to people in need in our community. After his work shift, he began a regular routine of picking up requests for help—for food, prescriptions, with utility bills, or other needs—from members of Baltimore’s St. Anthony of Padua Church.

By 1993 Vernon had helped hundreds of families, many of whom were facing another holiday season in need. Vernon decided to turn to Johns Hopkins for help in creating a charitable program that would meet that need.

Along with Judy Peregoff, then director of the Johns Hopkins Human Resources Office of Faculty, Staff, and Retiree Programs, Vernon developed a plan to provide gift certificates to families. The certificates, good for a turkey or other food items, would be distributed in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Johns Hopkins solicited donations and administered the program, while Vernon provided a list of families in need.

Vernon worked for JHU for 18 years and in 1995 received Johns Hopkins’ Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service. That year, a record 85 gift certificates were delivered. Vernon died in December 2001. His son, Sam Rice, then an HVAC technician at Hopkins, and other family members helped Hopkins maintain the partnership with church staff so that families in need would continue to receive food during the holidays.


Johns Hopkins partners with local nonprofit and social services agencies to provide gifts, clothing, and grocery gift cards during the holiday season to families and senior citizens in need. Help brighten the holidays by “adopting” a family or senior.

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Adopt-a-Student Uniform & Supply Drive

Since 2011, JHU has been helping Baltimore City Public School students start each school year fresh by providing new school uniforms. Now, your donation can also help provide needed school supplies in addition.

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Blood Drives

Blood drives are scheduled throughout the year at various Hopkins locations. Your blood donation can save lives.

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Hopkins Night at Camden Yards

Enjoy an evening at the ballpark with your classmates, and co-workers at this year’s Hopkins Night at Camden Yards, scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2022, when the Orioles play the Boston Red Sox.

Tickets range from $24 to $44 for faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, their families and friends. Seating is available in Upper Reserve Sections 326-346 and LF Lower Box 76-86 Rows 1-13. To purchase tickets and view seating options click Here

Hopkins Night attendees will receive a unique Orioles cap featuring our school colors and logo, while supplies last. Caps are limited, so be sure to reserve your seats now!

On the night of the event, please present your digital game ticket at the Orioles sales table located on the lower concourse inside Gate G, near sections 84-86 to pick up your exclusive University Night Hat. Hats can be picked up beginning one hour before the scheduled first pitch until one hour after the scheduled first pitch!

All ticket sales are final. Refunds will not be provided. For general questions, please contact Arnetta Shelton.

For any questions or accessible seating, please call 410.547.6211.

Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund

As part of its annual United Way fund drive, Johns Hopkins offers grants to nonprofits that serve the communities surrounding our campuses. Organizations currently receiving support from the Johns Hopkins Neighborhood Fund tackle everything from providing hearing devices for seniors in need, to offering medical and behavioral care for homeless children, to engaging recently arrived immigrant youth, and more.

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Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Baltimore

Through partnerships with Baltimore City Public Schools and various non-profit organizations, Johns Hopkins provides needed support to local schools and organizations by leveraging the talents of university faculty and staff for onsite community service. Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Baltimore is one of several initiatives dedicated to supporting our neighboring communities in Baltimore City.

University departments are encouraged to take time to pitch in. Such efforts make an impact on the community and the volunteers—volunteering with co-workers helps build skills, strengthen relationships, relieve stress, and promote well-being, for example.

Volunteers can use paid time off through our Johns Hopkins Takes Time for Baltimore service leave policy. The policy allows university faculty and staff to volunteer during their regularly scheduled work hours for a maximum of two days per fiscal year. Such volunteer efforts must be done through one of the following groups:

Volunteer opportunities can be found in Hopkins Engage, a civic engagement platform for matching, tracking, and assessing community engagement of our faculty, and staff.

MLK Jr. Community Service Awards

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service recognizes outstanding commitment to volunteer service by members of the Johns Hopkins community. All faculty, staff, and graduate students, are eligible to be nominated to receive this award, and recipients are honored at an annual ceremony.

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MLK Day of Service

Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in volunteer opportunities to support communities in Baltimore, Howard County, Washington, D.C, and St. Petersburg, Florida. More than 700 spots are available, with varying time commitments, and service leave may be used.

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Professional Clothing Donations

Ready to clean out your closet? Browse our list of Baltimore-area organizations that accept gently used clothing to help people entering or re-entering the workforce.

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United Way

Johns Hopkins partners with the United Way of Central Maryland for its annual JHU United Way Campaign. Through the partnership, members of the Hopkins community contribute to causes that are important to them, either through direct donations or by participating in departmental fundraising events.

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Community Supply Donations

The Office of Economic Development program for Community Initiatives and Strategies responds to the immediate needs of the community with donations made by Johns Hopkins students, staff, and faculty. Supplies often range from hygiene products, clothes, food, and toiletries. You donation will support these efforts directly.

American Heart Walk

Looking for more Community Initiatives? Community Initiatives and Strategies is raising funds for the 2022 Heart Walk. The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.

Support our Heart Rhythm & Impact Team now!

Giving Tuesday