Washburn Helps Toys for Tots give back to the Community

Jensen Moore, Washburn Review

This holiday season Washburn is encouraging students and faculty to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots foundation. Both cash and toy donations will be accepted. All the money donated will be put towards buying toys for underprivileged children, and is 100 percent tax deductible. Julie Unruh, a member of the Toys for Tots committee and nursing faculty at Washburn, is helping educate the community about the non-for-profit charity’s effect on the many children in need throughout the Topeka area.

“Over 20,000 kids in Topeka wouldn’t have a Christmas without Toys for Tots,” said Unruh. “These are children ages birth to 18.”

Each donation will help reach this year’s goal of $1,000 and 500 toys. Washburn’s campus alone contains 23 drop off boxes for toy donations. Locations for these drop boxes can be found on the many posters around campus. Students and staff are reminded they can donate toys and cash during Toys for Tots Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

Topeka businesses have also taken up on the call for toys. According to Unruh, local retailers set up special times to empty their shelves for the Marines, which helps gain twice the amount of toys. In fact, Washburn’s own bookstore, the Ichabod Shop, is aiding in the drive for donations. The Ichabod Shop is aware that students have budget and cannot always afford to throw their money around. During this holiday season students can purchase any toy item from the Ichabod Shop at 25 percent off the original price.

“It’s our way of giving to people who are giving back,” said Adrianne Johnson, the merchandise manager of the bookstore.

In addition to the 23 drop off boxes around campus, Toys for Tots will be taking donations at Washburn’s student and staff campus activities. Marines will take donations at both men’s and women’s basketball games on Dec. 6. Toys for Tots will also be attending the faculty and staff holiday party Dec. 13.

“Current and retired faculty come [to the holiday party],” said Unruh. “It’s an event where Topeka’s community gathers for the holidays.”

The party will take place in the Memorial Union from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The holiday season is upon us, and with all the hoopla that accompanies it one often forgets its meaning. However, this season we can all learn the lesson of compassion from the Toys for Tots foundation and give a gift to a disadvantaged child. According to Toys for Tots’ website 13 million children live in poverty, many of which will not have a normal Christmas let alone toys. Still there are many kids that don’t have a Christmas just because of a tight economy. This foundation helps remind people of the less fortunate. The Topeka and Washburn community can now share in this program’s ambition to give a child the chance to feel normal, even if it’s only with a toy.

For more information about the Toys for Tots foundation you can go to their website, www.toysfortots.org. For information about donations or details about joining the Toys for Tots committee at Washburn, contact Julie Unruh at [email protected]