EUHS students think outside the toy box

Exeter Union High School students collect more than 1,000 toys by getting creative with their fundraising

The Sun-Gazette

EXETER – There is no wrong way to do the right thing, but doing things the same can often have a dulling effect on the fundraising. In other words, it kind of takes the fun out of funding a cause.

Not wanting to fall into the trap of “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” Exeter Union High School students decided to shake up their annual Toys for Tots toy drive with a sleigh-full of new ideas. EUHS teacher Jason Welch said the high school students’ held dress up days on campus to coordinate with donated items, such as pajama day where students are asked to donate a stuffed animal.

That ignited student interest in participating in events outside of campus, such as selling Toys for Tots “Trains Sponsorships” for $1 each at Exeter Coffee Company during the Christmas Open House and handing out candy canes on Thursday nights, selling EUHS Monarch Santa shirts, and a “Stuff the Stocking” event on Dec. 11 at the high school. 

They also decided to create a new Community Event – the EUHS Santa Run. Held on Saturday morning, Dec. 14, the event was designed to raise money that would then be used to purchase additional toys. In the end, there were 81 registered participants. Welch said the event was “fun, lighthearted, and well received.”

Through all of the creative ideas and hard work by the EUHS Leadership class, they were able to raise over 1,026 toys. All toys collected in Exeter will stay within the community and be distributed to children at Rocky Hill Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School this week.

Toys for Tots has been held annually for the last 65 years by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Its mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys October through December and distribute those toys to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign was conducted. Toys for Tots is one of the nation’s flagship charitable endeavors, an American tradition and a national treasure as a vehicle for addressing the issue of poverty among children with the underlying idea that this will assist youngsters in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.

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