Many people are fortunate to get toys on Christmas day, either from Santa, from family members or possibly from friends. However, annually there are many families in the United States that can’t afford to get their kids gifts for Christmas. To combat this, many groups organize ways to help those families and give these kids the Christmas that every kid deserves. One such group is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC.
SAAC is hosting a toy drive to help families who can’t purchase gifts for their kids. The toy drive started Monday, Nov. 27 and continues until Friday, Dec. 1. The aim of the toy drive is to raise enough toys to make sure that all kids receive gifts during Christmas. The gifts will be collected at all home basketball games and wrestling matches.
This is the third year of the toy drive hosted by the committee. Last year SAAC collected over 220 toys and $3,126.96. This year they hope to raise that number to even greater heights. Ryan Enerson is a member of SAAC and of the North Dakota State track team. He was a part of the toy drive last year and is seeking to make it even larger this year.
“Most of us were lucky enough to get toys as kids, but there are a lot of people out there who aren’t as fortunate,” Enerson said. “We just want to give back to the community and hopefully give those kids a good Christmas.”
The Student-Athlete Advisory Council is a group of student-athletes, from all sports at NDSU who report to a larger group of student-athletes and advisors. There they host meetings on how the different teams can volunteer their time to help make a difference in Fargo. Around the country, almost every university has a Student-Athlete Advisory Council who perform similar tasks. The goal set forth by the NCAA is to be proactive in service and representation of all the 160,000 student-athletes that compete in Division I athletics.
Other toy drives around the area include the very popular Toys for Tots drive. Toys for Tots is a charity that was founded in 1947 by a U.S. Marine. That year he collected over 5,000 toys with the first toy being a handmade doll. Since then, the charity has evolved into a nationwide charity boasting corporate, celebrity, military and political support. The charity raised $280 million last year to give to kids in need. This charity has grown so large that the Minnesota Vikings have started chipping in. They set up drop-off locations and have radio hosts and Vikings players at these drop-off points throughout the day to bring in support.
Both SAAC and Toys for Tots are attempting to beat their numbers from last year and ask for the communities help to make this holiday season better one toy at a time.