Washburn students showing giving spirit through Christmas activities

Kylie Gilstrap

After the falling of the first snow, it is safe to say Washburn University has been given a shove into the holiday season.

However, the holiday spirit has been lurking on campus for the past month with the presence of holiday decorations and opportunities for students to be generous.

This year, there are two options for students to help others who are less fortunate during Christmas – Toys for Tots and the Angel Giving Tree.

“There are a lot of student organizations on campus that do good, charitable work,” said Vicki Doze, a law library assistant and chair coordinator for the Washburn Toys for Tots campaign. “The Toys for Tots campaign is a great opportunity for all students to participate in a campus-wide charity to give back to the needy children of Topeka and surrounding areas.”

The Toys for Tots program has been in existence since 1947, and it distributed more than 18.5 million toys during last year’s campaign. Washburn has participated in the program for more than six years, and this year’s donation goal is 300 toys, which is a reachable goal after last year’s donation of more than 500 toys.

Students can contribute to Toys for Tots by dropping a new, unwrapped toy into one of the 11 drop boxes located on campus before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, or by competing in the “change war” money drive of the residence halls.

“I was talking to my RA about the charities on campus and he mentioned the Toys for Tots campaign,” said Clay Freeman, freshman biology major. “I thought it was a great charity and the competition was motivating, so I donated all the change in my change jar, which was around $25.”

Each floor in the Living Learning Center had its own jar, along with a jar for Kuehne and West. The jars were located at the residential living front desk. Students could earn points for their floor by placing silver coins into their own jar or they could deduct points from other floors by placing cash or pennies into the opposing jars.

The “change war” raised $213.41. The fourth floor of the LLC won with a total of 8,110 points and will receive the floor party.

“Winning the floor party would [have been] wonderful,” said Shawn Bryant, freshman international studies major. “However, it’s even better knowing that children will have a great Christmas because of our generosity.”

Students wanting to give can also choose an angel from the Angel Giving Tree located in the Living Learning Center lobby. Each angel has a gift written on it that a child has requested for Christmas. Students can bring the unwrapped gifts that they choose, along with the angel, to the residential living front desk. Gifts can be donated until Friday, Dec. 8.