Volleyball team spearheads toy drive for foster kids

With the holiday season fast approaching, there are many things for people to look forward to. From spending quality time with family to the smiles on our loved ones’ faces when they open their gifts, this time of year is usually full of joy and happiness.

Unfortunately, for the over 3,100 children in foster care in the tri-county area, the holiday season may not be as joyous for them as it is for us. Before being placed into foster care, these brave children have endured everything from neglect to physical and sexual abuse.

Being in foster care alone is difficult enough for anyone to process, but being in it during the holiday season is much harder. Not only are foster children unable to spend time with their families, many foster parents cannot afford to provide gifts for these children who need them the most. In order to combat this, community members often come together and donate gifts to help foster parents provide the best Christmas possible for these deserving children.

Luckily, Portland State seniors Leigh-Ann Haataja and Katie O’Brien have taken charge and organized a way for you to make Christmas more joyful for the foster children of the tri-county area. Haataja and O’Brien are both members of the PSU Vikings volleyball team and are the organizers responsible for putting together the first annual PSU Toy Drive.

The PSU Toy Drive will collect toys at a few of the men’s and women’s Vikings basketball home games leading up to Christmas, and the toys will be given to foster children from the tri-county area. In exchange for your generous donations, the PSU Toy Drive has teamed up with KIND Healthy Snacks to provide each donator with a box of deliciously healthy KIND bars.

There are a couple ways you can donate toys to the PSU Toy Drive. The first is to bring the toys to any of the PSU Toy Drive games listed in the info box. If you can’t make it to these games but still want to donate, you can drop off your toy donations at the Stott Center’s main office on campus during regular business hours.

This is an excellent way for people to put smiles on the faces of these amazing children, as well as a good excuse to come and support the PSU Vikings men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The organizers of the PSU Toy Drive ask that all toys be delivered unwrapped and in the original package. It’s also asked that you please refrain from donating toys that could be affiliated with violence, as some of these kids have been victims of violence. If you have any further questions regarding the PSU Toy Drive, please contact Leigh-Ann Hataaja at [email protected]