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The Blue & Gray Press | December 18, 2017

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Circle k gathers toys

By Sadie Hagberg

Every year around the time of giving, the UMW chapter of Circle K International holds an event or toy drive for families and children in the Fredericksburg area.

In the past, Circle K volunteers have worked with the Salvation Army by bell ringing outside local businesses and wrapping gifts at Borders.

This holiday season the organization is doing something new.

Circle K began a Toy Drive on Wednesday, November 18. It is different from similar events they have done in past because this year, Circle K is joining forces with the Salvation Army on their Angel Tree project.

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program is a chance for people to give back to those less fortunate in the community by removing a tag from the tree and then purchasing a gift for the child on the tag.
This year, the Fredericksburg area Salvation Army has placed trees at B.J.’s, Spotsylvania Towne Center, Wal-Mart and Giant.

Sophomore Stacy Whitehouse, Circle K International president, thought of the idea to collaborate with the Salvation Army after working with the Angel Tree project in the past.

She saw the number of children whose names weren’t picked from the tree and would not receive a gift.

“I’ve worked in the warehouses, and there have been circumstances where there are names leftover,” said Whitehouse.

Whitehouse contacted the Salvation Army with her idea to help get those children gifts.
“We are asking for donations of new toys for children who won’t get them,” said Whitehouse.
The donations that Circle K receives will go directly to the Salvation Army.

From there, the Salvation Army will distribute the toys to the children whose names were not taken from the Angel Trees.

“It will be hard this year,” Whitehouse said.

Despite the economy, she urges students to donate.

Circle K has sent out emails to all the clubs on campus, as well as emails to the faculty and staff, asking for contributions.

The gifts don’t have to be expensive.

“At Dollar General and Wal-Mart the toys are generally cheap,” she said. “Try to find something that is nice, but still affordable.”

Circle K has placed three donation boxes around campus so far.  There are cardboard boxes wrapped in holiday paper at the bottom of Seaco next to the OSACS office, at the information desk outside the Nest, and in the bookstore.

“I would be happy with one hundred toys,” Whitehouse said. “I want to be pleasantly surprised.”
The toy drive will run through the end of the semester.  Donations can be made through Friday, December 11.