As the semester ends and the holidays draws near, so too do the events that happen here in Whitewater. This year, the 6th annual Giving Tree Toy Drive is soon to wrap up and has seen a smooth process and great success this year, just like before.
This year the Giving Tree is in collaboration with the Ronald McDonald House to distribute the gifts for many children. According to those running the drive, McDonalds was an easy partner to work with, as they will rarely turn anything down as long it was new or unwrapped.
“You may not like their food, but the case itself is good”, said Frank Lanko, the Senior Business Career Advisor for UW-Whitewater.
The Giving Tree itself had a simple beginning. Some within UW-Whitewater’s DECA came up with an idea to start a Toy Drive, and by collaborating with those such as the Ronald House as well as the Youth of Whitewater and the Whitewater School District the following years, the toy drive came to be.
“We just sat here and were like, that would be fun”, said Mindy Parker, the ADA for Management.
It’s around this time in the month where the drive sees the most donations, as it’s much closer to the holidays. Generally, 95 percent of all donations come from students, and the number of gifts donated were enough to “jam-pack” a few cars last year. Clearly, the cart that was taken outside to pick up the toys wasn’t enough.
Some of these gifts were bought by the UW-Whitewater Softball team, buying sports equipment and scooters for kids that visit the Magic Room while they are staying at one of the Ronald McDonald Houses. This marks the second year in a row that the team have gone shopping and donated to the drive.
The Giving Tree is located at UW-Whitewater in Hyland Hall. The last day for donations is this Friday, December 14th. They accept new and unwrapped gifts, and questions can be directed to Mindy Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org.