Phuong Anh Do
As the holiday season is fast approaching, organizations at Marshall University are partnering with the A.D. Lewis Community Center to collect toys through the Toy Drive campaign as a way to give back to the community.
Megan Archer, chapter advisor for Marshall’s Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, said when the organization heard about the event, they knew it was what they wanted to do.
“We decided to host a toy drive for the A.D. Lewis Center for our fall service project,” Archer said. “Every semester we try to pick an organization in our community who needs a little extra help. When a volunteer with the A.D. Lewis Center told us about the need for new and unwrapped gifts, we knew we wanted to get involved.”
The A.D. Lewis Community Center serves as a safe environment for children. The center gives the children a place like home to go after school to receive help and sometimes provides clothing, shoes and other necessities the child may need, according to Lenzie Stiltner, campus life and service co-chair in the Student Government Association.
“I am very passionate about this center for many reasons, but my passion grew immensely after I worked for their Halloween Party this past October—the look on their faces was something I will never forget,” Stiltner said. “To think that such a minute thing to the mass public as a piece of candy would strike such joy in a child’s life. When I left the center that day, I knew I had a calling to help this wonderful place to grow and do more for these children.”
Stiltner said last Christmas the center was running low on toys and funds, so this year the toy drive was born so more toys will be collected.
“The A.D. Lewis Center sponsors almost 40 children every year for Christmas, and they need toys for all ages,” Stiltner said. “The A.D. Lewis Center wants these donations as soon as possible so they can see what else they will need to purchase with donated funds, and anyone can drop off a donation at any time. They are always in the need of donations to help the children.”
Over 150 items have been collected for children of all ages from babies to teenagers, according to Archer. The types of items needed range from baby bibs, sport balls and board games to affordable electronics for the older kids.
“I’m very proud of the students who have taken the time out of their busy finals week schedules to go shop for a toy,” Archer said. “We have the best students at Marshall University because they care, and they work hard to put that care into action.”
Stiltner encourages all Marshall students and the community to get involved as a small action can make a big difference.
“I truly encourage every student and faculty member to donate to this wonderful cause to not only spark some holiday giving joy in their lives, but also spark a change in one of many little bright lights of the future,” Stiltner said.
The A.D. Lewis Community Center asks to have all toys be new and unwrapped so all the children will get new toys. Students, faculty and staff can drop off toys from now until Dec. 13 at four locations: Old Main Room 213, The LEAD Center (Memorial Student Center Basement), Prichard Hall Room 224 and the Drinko Library Atrium. After Dec. 13, those who are interested can drop off a toy directly to the A.D. Lewis Community Center or contact Olivia Hutchison at [email protected]
The campaign is sponsored by MU’s Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, Pre-Dental Club, SGA and John Marshall Emerging Leaders (JMELI).
Phuong Anh Do can be contacted at [email protected]