Taus for Toys for Tots

30 November

Iota Alpha (Texas State-San Marcos) – Alpha Tau Omega is trying to improve Christmas for children in the San Marcos area by collecting donations supporting the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Alpha Tau Omega is collecting new and unwrapped toys in The Quad in an effort to bring Christmas cheer to underprivileged children, said Clarke Mitzner, ATO president. The toy and money drive continues through Dec. 16, and is in The Quad Monday through Thursday.

“I hope a child who might not have been able to get a present during the holiday season receives something they really enjoy,” said Mitzner, management senior.

ATO hosts parties requiring a toy as cover charge along with collecting in The Quad. The organization also sets boxes in different sorority houses with a prize offered for the group that is able to collect the most toys.

Joseph Gayton, economics junior and ATO member, said in three days members collected between $80 and $100. He said he believes this is because of the Toys for Tots catchphrase he invented and “perfected.”
“Don’t live in greed, help a child in need,” Gayton said. “It seems to be getting us the most attention.”

Gayton became the ATO philanthropy chair at the end of the spring 2010 semester and learned about the group’s involvement in Toys for Tots. Gayton said he is trying to make this year more successful by increasing the campaign’s publicity.

“Advertisement is the main thing,” Gayton said. “We have to make sure the Toys for Tots name is recognizable on the campus.”

Gayton said he is also trying to improve this year’s campaign from previous years by adding donation locations to Wells Fargo Banks in New Braunfels and San Marcos. This includes the bank in the LBJ Student Center.

According to the Toys for Tots website, Toys for Tots was founded in 1947 by Col. William Hendricks of the U.S. Marine Corps after his wife conjured the idea. The primary goal of the organization is to deliver “a message of hope” to less fortunate children that will “assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”

This is the third year Alpha Tau Omega has participated with Toys for Tots. The tradition on campus began when a Marine and former member of ATO wanted the fraternity to get involved with the organization, Mitzner said.

*(Special shout to ATO brother Albert Vaiani of Texas State-San Marcos for bringing this article to our attention via Twitter.)

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