StuCo,Toys 4 Tots makes spirits bright

During+the+annual+Toys+for+Tots+fundraiser%2C+Student+Council+members+post+an+announcement+on+their+social+media+accounts+to+encourage+students+and+the+community+to+donate+funds+through+their+Venmo+accounts.+Due+to+being+in+remote+learning%2C+Student+Council+members+needed+to+think+of+alternatives+for+collecting.+%E2%80%9CThinking+of+new+ideas+like+the+Venmo+board+that+went+around+on+Instagram+pushing+seniors+really+helped%2C%E2%80%9D+senior+Toys+for+Tots+head+Ella+Kadets+said.+

Sophia Considine

During the annual Toys for Tots fundraiser, Student Council members post an announcement on their social media accounts to encourage students and the community to donate funds through their Venmo accounts. Due to being in remote learning, Student Council members needed to think of alternatives for collecting. “Thinking of new ideas like the Venmo board that went around on Instagram pushing seniors really helped,” senior Toys for Tots head Ella Kadets said.

Raiha Khan, Staff Writer

While students might not be in the building for school, Student Council (StuCo) members put their Santa clad heads together to innovate a way to continue their annual Toys for Tots (T4T) campaign and raise almost $10,000.
“We’re not collecting donations in real time or live, so no telethon this year is a huge loss. It could have been a catastrophe,” student council advisor Amber Bronson said. “We believe there’s so much more need because of the pandemic. To simply not show up with anything this year was definitely concerning to us.”
Toys for Tots, formally known as The Marine Toys For Tots Foundation, is a non-profit organization founded by the U.S Marine Corps in 1991 and created to provide unwrapped gifts for less fortunate children whose parents struggle economically. Due to what is happening in the world with the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for donations is at an all-time high.
“No one else is really doing Toys for Tots this year; they’re getting minuscule to no amount of donations,” senior head of T4T Ella Kadets said. “So this year, we were like ‘we want to make sure we get as much money as we can.’ Even though we can’t do the same traditional things that we usually do.”
With these challenges, Student Council members came up with creative ideas to contribute to the non-profit work. They branched out to businesses in order to sponsor the event—Denek Construction Company and U.S Bank were large contributors—as well as creating Venmo boards and posting on Instagram to spread the news, where they raised $9,000. The deadline for donations was Dec. 15.
“I think a pro to it (this year) is that it will become more of a community thing,” Kadets said. “I think the community will be more aware of what we do and how much we actually raise because we’re reaching out to them in a really unusual year.”
Traditionally, StuCo members use funds raised to purchase gifts from local big box stores, line up toys in the school’s commons and work with local Marines to load everything into their trucks. Then, some StuCo members travel to Eastern Market and connect parents with toys for their kids.
“It is literally incredible. We pack it up in the car and seeing their (the parents) faces knowing that I’m going through all this organizing and planning getting these toys melts your heart,” Kadets said.
Because that isn’t possible due to the pandemic, Kadets and Bronson presented the organization with a check.
“I think it is a huge testament to not only the work that these kids do,” Bronson said, “but their commitment to their community and the community’s commitment to support Eisenhower in their endeavors.”