Fraternity to coordinate toy collection by M. Jill Sundstrom Packages under the Christmas tree are something many children take for granted, but in reality, presents don�t find their way to every good little girl and boy.
That�s why Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at The University of South Dakota has organized a toy drive in Vermillion, along with Page Two and the Clay County Department of Social Services.
�This toy drive is for kids who won�t have a Christmas this year,� said Don Scheidel, faculty advisor for Sigma Alpha Epsilon. �The Department of Social Services has identified 45 to 50 families in the area who, for whatever reason, won�t be able to afford Christmas gifts. This is for them.�
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon program is a �supplement� to other toy drives that are being coordinated in the area, Scheidel added.
Page Two has donated 2,000 bags that will be handed out at Hy-Vee Food Store and Jones� Food Center beginning Nov. 25. Those who take the bags are asked to purchase a $10 toy for donation.
�Fraternity members will collect the bags full of toys on Dec. 12,� Scheidel said. �But you don�t need a bag to participate.�
Toys can either be brought to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at 856 Madison or those who donate can call the house at 624-2858 and make arrangements for the toys to be picked up. People can hang the bags on their door handles if they are not going to be home that day.
The fraternity members will then take the toys to the Department of Social Services for distribution.
�The toys will be given to kids of all ages,� Scheidel said. �Donations can be anything from games to stuffed animals, balls or dolls.�
This is the first year for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon toy drive. Scheidel credits Mike Hench, the student philanthropic chairman, for coming up with the idea.
�We�re trying to encourage more philanthropic activities ? community involvement ? for the students in Sigma Alpha Epsilon and when Mike suggested this idea, I thought it was great,� Scheidel said. �We hope that it is successful enough to continue it in the future.�