‘Toys from the Heart’ brings joy to area children

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
Date: November 13, 2012

     HAMMOND – Many Southeastern Louisiana University student organizations have found that nothing warms the heart more than giving the gift of joy to a young child.

     For the seventh consecutive year, Southeastern's Kappa Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and Zeta Phi Beta sorority will do just that by giving "Toys from the Heart" to underprivileged children in the local community.

     Teaming with Recreational Sports and Wellness, the Office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs (MISA), and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, the organizations expect to collect enough toys for 400 children this holiday season.

     "When Kappa approached us with the idea years ago, we wanted to help 200 families; now we have so many partners that we expect to serve 400 this year," said Eric Summers, assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs. "We ask that children ranging from newborn to age 12 come to pick out their own toy. We love to see the look on their faces and it warms the hearts of our students to see the difference they are making."

     Summers said the students are asking the Hammond community and all Southeastern departments, faculty, staff and students to make a donation of a toy or a monetary donation toward the purchase of a new toy.

     New, unwrapped toys may be delivered to donation boxes located in the Student Union Mall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 15, Nov. 19-20, Nov 26-29, and Dec. 3-6. Donation boxes will also be located at the MISA office in the Student Union, room 206, and inside the Pennington Student Activity Center, located at the corner of University Avenue and General Pershing Avenue.

     Summers said special events are planned to collect toys for the giveaway. Back by popular demand is Dancing for Dolls, a Zumba Fitness event, which will be held on Monday, Nov. 26, from 5:30-7 p.m. Led by fitness instructor Sarah Trattler, the event will offer a beginner friendly Barbie Bootcamp from 5:30 – 6 p.m.; Zumba Fitness from 6 - 6:30 p.m.; and cardio line dance from 6:30 – 7 p.m. The general public is welcome to attend, and admission is one unwrapped toy.

     On Nov. 28, Recreational Sports and Wellness will be hosting "Jingle Bells with Santa and the Elves." All faculty, staff and students are invited over to the Pennington Student Activity Center from 2 – 5 p.m. to participate in the event. The general public and Southeastern faculty, staff and students attending are asked to bring one new toy or make a $5 donation to the project.

     Families interested in receiving toys may register for the drive by calling the MISA office at (985) 549-3850 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday until registration is full. Requests are filled on a first come, first served basis, and registration begins Nov. 19.

     Those registering children must speak with a person; no messages will be taken. Toys will be given to registered families Dec. 7 from 1-5 p.m. at the Pennington Student Activity Center.

     For more information about "Toys from the Heart," contact the MISA office at (985) 549-3850.

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