Three boxes set up around campus for donations
By: Sydney Umstead, News Editor
Canisius will be holding a Toys for Tots drive until Dec. 11. This drive is in partnership with the New Buffalo Institute (NBI) and the Resource Council of WNY.
Students and faculty can donate toys to three individual boxes located around campus. The locations are the Old Main vestibule, outside of the library and on the first floor of the Student Center. Director of the NBI Shana Richardson expressed that the drive, “aside from continuing to build the NBI partnerships,” helps during the holiday season, especially.
Richardson stated, “It’s important to emphasize to the students the need to give back, the recognition that many of us here are very fortunate, and so if we are in a position to help give back to someone else, we should do that.”
Throughout the drive process, “seeing the boxes on campus and seeing the fliers encouraging any size toy kinda reiterates to students that no matter how little or how much we have, we should try to pay it forward,” as Richardson expressed.
It is also “the importance of giving, not receiving,” Richardson pointed out.
Richardson noted that there is no set amount of toys that she is looking to gather. The reason for this, as she expressed, is because Canisius is not the sole partner that the center has. Furthermore, it is collecting “the more the better.”
Around the end of October, Richardson said, the boxes were first set up; since then, the Old Main and library locations have seen “a pretty steady influx of donations.” She continued, “My goal is at least once a week there is something in the boxes for me to grab.”
Throughout the process of gathering the toys, Richardson will “try to wait until there is a good amount to bring.” This is in part because of where the center is located. Richardson expressed, “It’s a pretty easy lift,” and she usually waits until a tote full can be collected.
As of Nov. 29, Richardson regarded how, in company with her grad assistant, they have made about “three trips over” to the location.
The idea for the drive, as Richardson noted, came from her mission to “establish new partnerships or build on some of the partnerships that [her] predecessor, Mary Rockwell, had.” One of the relationships that had been established was with the Resource Council of WNY.
Richardson noted how this location is “very close to campus” as it is on East Ferry St, and because of this, she has been in frequent contact with Racheal Tarapacki, the director of programs for the Resource Council.
Richardson cited how one of her goals was to foster an even stronger relationship with the resource council given its proximity to campus. She stated that with the NBI it has been important to her to “try and build relationships with partners, agencies [and] organizations that are close to us.”
In terms of the toy drive’s connection to the NBI, Richardson explained, “One of the things that was important to me is trying to emphasize not just doing one-and-done things.” Continuing on this point, she mentioned, “Around the holidays, these types of things can feel like that.” However, “because this is a part of the relationship-building with this particular community partner of the resource council, I think it fits into the work we’re already doing.”
The drive symbolically represents for Richardson,“the idea of encouraging everyone here at Canisius to look not just to the Buffalo community at large but [also] what is in our own backyard.”
Students at Canisius also are currently volunteering at the Resource Center of WNY. Richardson discussed that “one of the programs that a lot of students have inquired about is their after school program.” From this, Richardson drew the connection to the toy drive, as “a lot of the kids in the after-school program will be the recipients of these toys.”