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Holiday Programs

Program Overview

Our holiday programs help the Pittsburgh Penguins spread joy and cheer each November and December.


annual visits to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Children's Hospital Visit

The annual visit to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a team tradition which started in the early 1980s and continues to bring smiles to countless children and their families. During the week before Christmas, the Pittsburgh Penguins don Santa hats to visit with children at the Children’s Hospital. Each year, the players visit with children and their families, room-to-room as they distribute a variety of gifts, sign autographs and ultimately spread holiday cheer.


Shoeboxes delivered a week before Christmas

Operation Shoebox

The Operation Shoebox program was designed to brighten the holidays for seniors residing in assisted living facilities who would not typically receive visits or gifts over the holidays. Penguins staff members from all departments donate beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts contained in shoeboxes.

The Shoebox Project

Starting in December 2017, the Penguins Foundation and the Penguins Wives Association are proud to support the Shoebox Project. With a monetary donation, as well as donated items, the Penguins ladies will provide shoeboxes filled with items that would help any woman feel special. Items include gift cards, skin care products, quality soaps and shampoos, make-up, chocolates and more! The stuffed shoeboxes will be donated to women's shelters in the Pittsburgh region to brighten the holidays.

over 19,000

Toys have been distributed through Toys for Tots

Toy Drive

Each December, the Penguins team up with the U.S. Marine Corps to host a Toys for Tots collection. Over the past decade, more than 19,000 toys and $101,000 have been collected to support underprivileged children in our community. In 2014, the Penguins began teaming up with 96.1 KISS Radio for the Stuff-A-Bus program. This partnership has allowed for even more donations and an even bigger impact on those who benefit from this program.


Days of giving back and assisting the community

Week of Assists

Tis the season to assist… the hockey season that is! In 2016, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation introduced its first-ever Week of Assists by conducting a random act of kindness each day during the designated week. Keep an eye on the Penguins Foundation's social media accounts this December to see where the next assist may pop up!


Local youths suited up for the winter season

Project Bundle-Up

When autumn leaves fall to a winter’s wind, it marks the time of year for the Penguins Project Bundle-Up Shopping Day in partnership with the Salvation Army and DICK'S Sporting Goods. After a team practice, Penguins players spend an afternoon shopping with young children in need of outerwear for the cold winter months. The children depart the Shopping Day with new coats, boots, hats, gloves and scarves - along with autographs from their favorite Penguins players.

Your help matters

We could not continue to do the work we do without your support.

Programs for Helping
  • Testimonials

    “We are honored to have the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins, an organization that truly believes in the mission of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Year after year, the players, coaches, management and ownership demonstrate a passion for helping patients and families at Children’s Hospital, through both generous donations and visits to brighten their days. As we celebrate 125 years of caring at Children’s, it’s organizations like the Pittsburgh Penguins that allow our kids to have the chance to do what they do best — be kids.”

    Christopher Gessner, President
    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
  • Testimonials

    “We have had success with our Stuff-A-Bus campaign over the years, but having the Penguins involvement has sent the amount of donations and awareness to a whole new level and really, really helped out a lot of kids in the region.”

    Mikey & Big Bob, On-Air Talent
    96.1 KISS