College Community Ensures Happy Holiday For Hundreds Of Children

By Samantha Flavell, OCT Intern

OSWEGO – Christmas is a time of heartfelt giving and the SUNY Oswego community has continued this tradition by holding its 30th annual SUNY Oswego Toy Drive to support local families.

College volunteers have worked with the Oswego County Department of Social Services for the past three decades to help provide Christmas gifts to low-income families.

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There were 20 trees like this one scattered across the SUNY Oswego campus as part of the event.

Casey Walpole, the staff assistant of Facilities Services, said there were 20 trees all across campus, adorned with paper ornaments for the drive.

“Secretaries go around setting them up,” Walpole explained. “A lot of people are involved.”

With the toy drive, a student, faculty member or visitor would pick one of the paper ornaments off a tree.

These ornaments have information on the child’s gender and age group as well as some gift ideas to help the participant when they go shopping.

Once a participant has chosen a gift, they would drop it at one of the many drop-off locations across campus.

Walpole said that there was a drop-off location in every building. She also will collect gifts for the event.

The toy drive gears up in the beginning of November to allow students who participate to be able to shop while they are home for Thanksgiving break.

The official deadline date for collecting gifts is Dec. 13, but Walpole said that she will accept donations right up to Christmas Eve.

For those that want to get involved but may not have the time to go shopping, monetary donations are also accepted.

In addition to her work organizing the event, Walpole will take the cash donations and shop for the age groups that did not have as many gift donations.

This event has helped 900 hundred families as well as 1,500 children to have a happy holiday season, said Walpole.

The families being impacted by the event will receive the toys during a distribution event the takes place in Laker Hall, SUNY Oswego’s athletic facility.

Sunday, Dec. 17, is this year’s distribution day for the gifts that have already been collected.

When asked how she felt about this being the 30th year of the event, Walpole expressed how grateful she was to everyone involved who made it possible and successful.

“I am very thankful that everyone on campus continue to support us,” Walpole said.