University of Indianapolis Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, David Selby has teamed up with the United States Marine Corps Reserve to bring the Toys for Tots campaign to UIndy.
The mission of the Toys for Tots program is to collect new, unopened toys during October, November and December of each year. The toys are then distributed as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
This is Selby’s second year both at UIndy and bringing Toys for Tots to campus. As the coordinator, he is responsible for planning, organizing and conducting the campaign. Selby also established the Toys for Tots program at Butler University and Indiana University Kokomo in previous years. Selby feels that no child should be left out, especially on Christmas.
“The Christmas season is a good time for people to share with their fellow man, he said. “And there are so many children, especially in our area in Marion County, that are deprived, and it’s nice to know that there is a vehicle for them to get something for Christmas, because everybody needs something for Christmas.”
Lieutenant Hailey Padgett-Riley is in charge of the day-to-day operations for the campus police and also serves as an assistant to Selby. Padgett-Riley’s role in the Toys for Tots campaign is to help promote and market the program on campus. She wants to encourage members of the UIndy community to help by giving to a cause that is important to them.
“It is heartbreaking to think that there are kids out there that will wake up Christmas morning with no presents to open. By donating a few toys, we can hopefully change that, one child at a time,” she said. “It is important to give back, and it feels good to do so anytime of the year, but especially at Christmas”.
If someone knows a family or child in need, he or she also can request a toy for the child on the Toys for Tots website. Although the main goal of the campaign is to help the less fortunate children in the United States experience the joy of Christmas, the ultimate success is up to the generosity of the people in the community who donate toys.
For junior social work major Felicia Ridle, this is her second year donating to Toys for Tots. Last year, she recognized that giving to Toys for Tots was more than just buying a Christmas gift for a child.
“It made me realize that I have the power to change, help and positively affect lives, and that is an awesome feeling,” she said.
Ridle will continue to give to Toys for Tots during the holiday season, but she is now ready to help her community in other ways throughout the rest of the year as well.
“It [donating to Toys for Tots] makes me feel good, but it makes me feel better that the community that I belong to is receptive and helping with it,” Selby said.
The Toys for Tots donation boxes are located in buildings throughout campus. The last day to deposit toys for the program is Dec. 17.