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Do a good deed, help a child in need
Posted Dec. 5, 2008

This holiday season, instead of going shopping for the best deals so that you, your friends and your family can have the most popular items that stores have to offer, think about those who don't have anyone to shop for them. Many children are left empty handed on Christmas, and all it takes is a simple act of giving to fill a child's heart with joy.

Well, now that I've made you tear up, put that heart-felt thought to use and help spread happiness this holiday season because not everyone is fortunate enough to spend over $26,000 a year on college tuition.

There are many local toy drives this month that are accepting new toys, clothing and sporting goods for children. No matter where you live, there is a way for you to give a donation and help underprivileged children have a happy holiday experience.

One toy drive is right on our campus, so there is no excuse not to make a donation. The University of La Verne Campus Activities Board is currently hosting a toy drive in the residence halls on campus. You can donate new unwrapped toys to the drive and all of the donations will be sent to children in need. The toy drive began Monday and will end Dec. 12.
Another great drive, called Spark of Love, is put on annually by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

They accept donations of new unwrapped toys or sporting goods at any Southern California fire station. These gifts should be donated prior to Christmas day so that the children can receive them on Christmas.
When possible, the local firefighters, usually accompanied by Santa Clause, make a discreet and dignified special delivery to deserving children on Christmas day. Established community and child service organizations identify recipients of the donations in advance. Spark of Love also aids families who have recently experienced a sudden catastrophic loss.

Donations will also be accepted at any CVS/pharmacy locations. Online donations can be made on the LAFD Web site.

This program's success relies solely on the goodwill of people, so the program depends on many people to donate in order for more children to experience the joy of receiving a gift on Christmas. If you would like to donate or want more information, call the LAFD's Spark of Love hotline at 213-847-3816.

The McKinley Children’s Center in San Dimas is having a Toys N’ Joys program where anyone can help provide a joyous holiday for the abused, abandoned and neglected children at this foster home. Many of the children at this center have never celebrated a holiday or known what it is like to receive a gift from someone who cares. That someone could be you.

McKinlely is accepting new gifts for boys such as action figures, mp3 players, model cars or gift cards. These items should not be gift wrapped and can be dropped off at the McKinnley Children’s Center administration office. They are accepting donations until Dec. 12. For a complete list of gifts that are being accepted, contact Rhonda Beltran at 909-599-1227, ext. 2104, or Kami Newman at ext. 2127.

Spreading the love is what this holiday season should be about. So, please, think of the less fortunate. Do a good deed and help a child in need.

Jaclyn Mittman, a senior journalism major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jaclyn.mittman@laverne.edu.