Student Santas Holding Third Annual Toy Drive


Photo of Southeast Student Santas with gifts they have collected for needy children.

Southeast Student Santas are holding their third annual toy drive.


Nov. 17, 2008 – The Southeast Missouri State University Student Santas are holding their third annual toy drive for the upcoming holiday season. 

“There are many kids not getting anything for Christmas, and we want to fix that,” said event coordinator Jennifer Icaza-Gast, instructor of communication studies.  “Our purpose is to get as many toys to as many children as we can.

“I had the idea to begin the Student Santas program four years ago,” Icaza-Gast said.  “The group originally started in the communication department with COMMrades, because I would give extra credit to students who would bring in toys.  Other professors loved this idea and began doing this as well.  It has since grown and now many students in other departments participate as well.  Members in the community have also taken a special interest in our organization.” 

The drive was very successful last year with more than 4,000 toys donated.  The Student Santas were even able to provide a set of bunk beds for a family living in a one-bedroom apartment without beds.  The Student Santas this year have made plans to help out a family who will be spending their Christmas in a St. Louis hospital and have set a new goal this year of collecting 6,000 toys.  Individuals can help them reach this goal by donating toys or gift cards.  Monetary donations are accepted as well to aid in packaging and shipping costs.  

Toys can be donated at Schnucks in Cape Girardeau, Prompt Care in Jackson, or brought to the first floor of the Grauel Building on the Southeast campus.  Donations will be accepted through Christmas.

For more information, contact Icaza-Gast at (573) 651-2241.