Donate toys to veterans and their families in need this holiday season.
It’s the holiday season, and this time of year brings out feelings of cheer and the spirit of giving. This season can also be hard for some, so Cal Lutheran University’s Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity is going to be helping out veterans and their families through a holiday toy drive.
DSP is a national fraternity in their second year at Cal Lutheran. They have two goals for their student members: help them prepare for the professional world and serve the community around them.
Currently, DSP has 30 active members, 30 pledges and two faculty advisors.
The club’s Vice President of Community Service Jackson Gilliam planned the toy drive.
“The toy drive came about this summer when I was trying to put together a plan for our fall service events and I wanted to make a big impact being that it was only our second semester on campus. We want to be a positive presence,” Gilliam said.
DSP will be working with 1736 Family Crisis Center which helps women, children, men and families through crisis circumstances. DSP will be directly benefiting the Los Angeles County Veteran Families Program, which assists homeless and at-risk veterans and their families to obtain or retain housing, and return to lives of promise and productivity, according to their flier.
Finding and picking the organization was very important to Gilliam.
“I wanted to find an organization that would actually allow us to distribute our gifts in person. I think that having a lot of college students actually giving the gifts to these kids and families will spark an interest and inspire them to get more involved in the future,” Gilliam said.
The fraternity will be accepting monetary and gift donations on the spine Nov. 15, 16, 22, 29 and 30.
“All donations are welcome and the club has set up a Go Fund Me account entitled ‘Delta Sigma Pi Holiday Toy Drive’ for those who would like to donate money,” club Vice President Lauren Forment said.
They will be accepting a range of gifts and any household items for children, teens, moms, dads and veterans. A total of 27 children ranging from the age of one to 18 and their parents will be the beneficiaries of the gifts and money collect by DSP.
“I had set the goal for each member to raise or donate $20 because if each of our members raised about $20 that works out to about $1300 total, which would give us enough to give each of the children and families a $20 to $25 gift. That’s great, but in my opinion I think we need more than that. There is no maximum because if we have excess gifts for the 27 children they will stay with the organization and go to other kids,” Gilliam said.
A few businesses have agreed to support DSP. Target donated a gift card and One Main Financial agreed to do a collection in their own office. Also, the Thousand Oaks Rotary club may be joining the campaign as well.
“We have 130 members in our club so I’m hoping that will be the community involvement piece,” said Timothy Weaver, DSP adviser and incoming president of Thousand Oaks Rotary.
DSP will travel down to Los Angeles Dec. 3 to personally distribute the gifts to the families. After the distribution, the members will attend a brunch to get to know the families.
“Spread the word, getting this cause in front of as many eyes and ears as possible. These people have given so much to our country so we have to give back in some way. These people do so much to protect our freedom and there’s also not a strong support system for them once they come out of the military, and we want to help them by giving them a great holiday season,” Gilliam said.