News Release

Toys from the Heart successful thanks to campus, community

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMOND – Christmas came early for some children in the Hammond community thanks to fraternity and sorority members and campus groups at Southeastern Louisiana University and the surrounding community. 
     Groups bringing holiday cheer to 350 children included Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Inc., along with Recreational Sports and Wellness and the Office of Multicultural and Student Affairs (MISA). 
     Over the last two weeks the groups collected nearly $600 in cash and over 200 toys. Large contributions were made by the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area, the University President and his staff, and the Southeastern track team and other student athletes.
     A special “Dancing for Dolls” fundraiser brought in 50 dolls from Zumba dance participants. Dancing for Dolls was organized by Southeastern faculty and staff members Sarah Clifton and Angelique McIntyre; the 75- minute class was taught by Clifton, an instructor in the extended studies and mathematics. She received additional donations from members at Stone Creek Club and Spa and Mandeville Sports Complex, where she teaches fitness classes.  
     “We saw our Zumba Fitness class as a wonderful opportunity to raise toys for children in the area,” said Sarah Trattler, a Zumba participant. “We were delighted to see so many generous donations from the Southeastern family, as over 50 people participated. It truly epitomizes the spirit of the season.”
According to Eric Summers, director of MISA, Toys from the Heart has grown each year. 
     “Four years ago 200 families were helped, and this year the number was increased to 350 children, ranging from newborns to age 12,” he said.
      Delta Sigma Theta Sorority member Dynnishea Jones said, “We ask that children come to pick out their own toy. We plan it that way so we can see the look on their faces when they choose a toy. Seeing that is when you realize it is better to give than receive.”

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