CU students hosting toy drive today for needy kids

This afternoon, Castleton University’s Sigma Alpha Lambda Chapter will be hosting a Christmas Toy Drive outside of Glenbrook gymnasium.

“So we partnered with Fair Haven Concerned and we’re going to be featured as a local holiday hero,” said Shawna Baker, organizer of the event and member of Sigma Alpha Lambda Chapter.

The event will begin at 12 p.m. and last until 3 p.m. They are asking that everyone pull up and remain in their personal vehicles with the toys ready to be given to the volunteers.

“The toys that will be donated will be put in clear plastic bags that way they can disinfect in a separate room within Glenbrook gymnasium,” Baker said. “And then three days after that, those toys will be donated to Fair Haven Concerned.”

Fair Haven Concerned is a non-profit grassroots organization that helps with the needs of the Fair Haven, West Haven and Benson communities. They have a list of families in need and will be sending the toys they receive from the toy drive to them for the holiday season.

The organization has a list of local families who are in need this Christmas season “and so they’ll be reaching out to those families and be donating those gifts to those families,” Baker said.

This will be the second year Sigma Alpha Lambda Chapter is a club on campus. The hope for the event is that everyone who comes is here to help the children in need and to follow the COVID-19 rules the state of Vermont has in place as well as the university, she said.

“We’ve got flyers up and it’s been advertised so we’re just hoping that community members were promptly informed so that we could have a good participation to give back to those families in need,” Baker said.

Freshman Liam Gianakis received the email on Thursday and it immediately stuck out.

“When I’m looking through all my emails, I usually just see a bunch of stuff, but for some reason this caught my eye,” he said. “It looked like a really cool opportunity and I hope they have a good turnout.”

Gianakis’s friend Kaya Bogle was standing behind him when the email came up. Bogle said that Gianakis told him to look at it.

“Usually these types of things aren’t for me but I know that Corona has really messed up a lot of families so it made me happy to know that they aren’t forgotten about,” Bogle said.

People with toys to give away who can’t make it to the event, this won’t be their only chance. The FHC will be accepting gifts until about two weeks from Christmas and then they will decide based off of needs of the families where they go.

Baker said that they are expecting a good turnout but that letting people know about it will be the best form of advertising for the event.

“Any word that is spread is great. It’ll definitely help those kids and that’s our main goal is we want to give back to the community,” Baker said.

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