With the holidays swiftly approaching, thousands of shoppers in the Fort Collins community are flooding stores searching for the perfect gifts, envisioning smiles when presenting their family and friends with tokens of love.
Yet for some parents, the thought of buying their children a special gift may seem like an insurmountable feat, especially in the face of the current economic state.
Two CSU juniors, Maria Aschmann and Angela Rounds, are challenging that reality, trying to bring grins to the faces of families who could not have otherwise afforded gifts this holiday season.
Aschmann, an equine science major, and Rounds, a biological science major, are hosting the Winter Wishlist Gift Drive, a three-day toy drive on campus.
“A lot of people at CSU have a good holiday season with their families,” Aschmann said. “It’s really easy to give and take that first step to seeing that children in need have a whole childhood and holiday experience, too.”
The drive collected gifts for children at the CSU Flea Market in the Lory Student Center Monday and will continue collecting donations on the LSC plaza today and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Toy donations will be given to two shelters for abused families, Alternatives to Violence and Crossroads, and to Housing Authorities for underprivileged families and Operation Christmas Child, a ministry that sends gifts to children worldwide.
Rounds said the idea for the toy drive began when she and Aschmann wanted to create a gift drive for Operation Christmas Child. After they began working with the Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement office on campus, their focus changed, Round said, to local families in need.
“(On Monday,) we had a few donations at the Flea Market . and we are hoping to get even more on the Plaza.”
This is the Winter Wishlist Gift Drive’s first year on campus, and it is something both Rounds and Aschmann said they hope will become a new holiday tradition.
The goal of the gift drive is “to restore certain aspects of childhood to young children who have been placed in circumstances beyond their control,” according to its Web site.
“I hope that the toy drive will help to reach as many children in need as possible,” Aschmann said. “Maybe one day, in future years, we will be able to collect enough gifts to not only serve our local community but other communities in need as well.”
For gift donation ideas, lists of needed items can be picked up in the SLiCE office. Donations to the Winter Wishlist Gift Drive can be dropped off today and Wednesday on the Plaza.
For more information call SLiCE special events coordinator Keith Colton at (970) 491-3579 or e-mail Aschmann and Rounds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff writer Kelley Bruce Robinson can be reached at email@example.com.
Items desired for donation include but are not limited to:
Non-food items (these items can’t be bought with food stamps)
Diapers (all sizes)
Toothpaste & toothbrushes
Some Gift ideas:
Movies (G or PG)
Arts and craft supplies