Published Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013

Washburn’s campuses encourage spirit of giving this holiday season

Toys for Tots train logo

Washburn is in the giving spirit this holiday season. Six different collection drives, for everything from new, unwrapped toys to outerwear and personal care items. Community members are encouraged to participate in each of these drives. Please keep them in mind during holiday shopping.

Toys for Tots – Washburn’s Toys for Tots committee is collecting new, unwrapped gifts and monetary donations for Topeka children from birth to 18 years until Dec. 12. There are drop-box locations throughout the Washburn and Washburn Tech campuses. Collection continues until the university’s holiday party for faculty, staff and retirees on Dec. 12. This year, the committee set a goal of 550 toys and $1,100 in monetary donations.

Cabinet and millwork students at Washburn Tech and the Topeka community have ensured that toy goal will be reached. On Dec. 7, Tech Instructor Johnny Lemon and his students will lead a group of volunteers beginning at 8 a.m. in the cabinet shop. The volunteers will assemble and paint 200 toy drums and 200 stools, designed not to topple.

Lemon said all materials have been donated from home improvement and specialty cabinet shops throughout Northeast Kansas.

“It’s been really, such a positive experience,” Lemon said, inviting students from Washburn, Washburn Tech and anyone from the community who wants to lend a hand. “We can use all the help that people want to bring over.”

Topeka-based Marines also will be on hand. Lemon said the build day will continue until all 400 items are finished. Volunteers will be lined up in assembly line fashion and given instruction on their role before the process begins. Coming in for an hour or the whole day is welcome and encouraged.

“We want this to be the feel good experience of the season,” Lemon said. All volunteers are encouraged to wear elf gear, ears, red or green shirts, and the like.

Washburn’s Toys for Tots drive continues until Dec. 12. More than $200 was raised at Saturday’s home basketball games. Questions about Washburn Tech’s toy build day? Contact Johnny Lemon at 785-228-6443. Questions about the Washburn main campus collection effort? Contact Julie Unruh, committee chair, at julie.unruh@washburn.edu

Operation Fleece Navidad – Kinesiology students are collecting items for the Topeka Rescue Mission until Dec. 4. Drop items at Mabee Library, Petro Allied Health Center, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center or the Living Learning Center lobby. The collected new or gently used outerwear in all sizes, such as coats, hats, gloves and scarves, will be given to residents of the Topeka Rescue Mission. Have items you want to donate but want them to be picked up? No problem. Just email kines@washburn.edu. Questions? Contact Roy Whol, chairman of Department of Kinesiology and capstone course professor, at 785-670-1968.

The Giving Tree Project – Catholic Campus Center and others are participating to purchase gifts for local children. Get a tag from a Christmas tree at the CCC, International House, the Living Learning Center, School of Nursing, Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Washburn Student Government Association, Zeta Tau Alpha and program offices for physical therapy and radiology. Purchase the gift indicated on the card and return it by Dec. 6. Questions? Contact the Catholic Campus Center at Washburn, 785-233-2204.

Jelly drive for Harvesters – Local food banks often receive peanut butter donations, but are short on jelly. Bring jelly donations to the Office of Admissions in Morgan Hall or to the box outside the Corner Store in the Memorial Union by Dec. 13. Questions? Contact Washburn Admissions at 785-670-1030.

Donate personal care items – Washburn Embraces Recovery is collecting items such as razors, shaving cream, shampoo, bar soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes and deodorant for area homeless through the end of the semester. Drop items at Benton Hall Room 313 by Dec. 13. Questions? Contact Iris Wilkinson, We R advisor, at 785-670-1536.

Manor Care support – Washburn First Year Experience (FYE) Peer Educators are collecting donations for the residents of Manor Care. Bring crossword puzzle books, board games, puzzles, large-print playing cards, blankets, new lip balm, lotion and socks to the FYE office at Mabee Library by Dec. 13. Questions? Talk to your peer educator or anyone in the FYE office.

Shoes for Belize – Ichabods who are traveling on a service trip to Belize over winter break are determined to give orphan children the shoes they need. Bring new or gently used shoes in all sizes to International House by Dec. 20. Questions? Contact Judy McConnell-Farmer, who will lead the service trip, at 785-670-1472.