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Bearing gifts of toys and food, CSULA brings joy to local families

EPIC’s 2011 Toy and Food Drive collects more than $16,000 worth of donation

Click photos for hi-res images:

  • Photo of students delivering boxes to offices and departments.
  • Photo of students sorting through canned food donated to the EPIC Toy & Food Drive.
  • Photo of students testing out the toys donated to the EPIC Toy & Food Drive.
  • Photos of students sorting through the boxes of food and toys donated to the EPIC holiday drive.

Picture of toys and food collected for 2011 EPIC holiday drive.

Marking its 40-year tradition of giving, Cal State L.A.’s Educational Participation in the Communities (EPIC) brightened the holidays of 70 local families through its 2011 Toy and Food Drive.

Thanks to the generous contributions of Cal State L.A. staff, faculty and students more than $16,000 worth of toys and food were delivered during the holiday season to 207 children and 107 adults in the cities of Commerce, El Monte and Los Angeles.

“I donate every year because I believe Christmas is a time for giving,” said CSULA’s staff member Anna Dillingham. “There are so many individuals who are less fortunate than us, and can’t even afford to purchase toys to give to their children.”

Every single donation from Dillingham and the campus community made a difference. For example, the Reyes family, which includes three children under the age of 9, was more than delighted to receive the gifts.

Kathy Morfin, program manager for the Maravilla Foundation, shared, “When we walked into the Reyes home with the presents, the children’s eyes lit up and the grandmother motioned over to the Christmas tree and told them ‘now we have presents to place under our tree.’”

EPIC consulted Maravilla along with other non-profit community agencies to select low-income families for the donations. Other agencies included Asian Youth Center, East Los Angeles Women’s Center, Foundation for Early Childhood, International Institute of Los Angeles, Jeffrey Foundation, Jenesse Center, Los Angeles Boys and Girls Club, Salazar Park Recreational Center, Search To Involve Pilipino Americans, Sheenway School and Culture Center, Southern California Indian Center, St. Francis Center, and United American Indian Involvement, Inc.

As part of the holiday drive, drop-boxes were strategically placed in departments and offices throughout the campus for about a month last quarter. During the second week of December, more than 110 “Santa’s elves” from various student clubs and organizations volunteered to collect and sort the toys and food to prepare for delivery.

“It was impressive to observe all the toys and food that filled the storage room. The donations touched many hearts this season,” said Anh Hong, EPIC community service learning coordinator. “On behalf of EPIC, we would like to thank all members of the campus community for their giving spirit.”


Check out raw video footage about the 2011 EPIC Toy & Food Drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IyCx98vTf5g.


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Last Update: 01/13/2012