Annual Club Unity Toy Drive Brings Gifts to Children in Los Angeles Area

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Led by cross country coach and history teacher Dr. Lalo Diaz, the Cub Unity Toy Drive, which started on Tuesday, Nov. 28, and will last until Wednesday, Dec. 20, is an annual event that Diaz has hosted for the past 31 years. Throughout the holiday season, students can drop off toys, which are eventually donated to underprivileged children in the Los Angeles community,  in room P307.

Over the years, however, Loyola has decided to expand its accepted gifts to unused sports equipment and art supplies, in addition to toys. The toy drive has received about 3,000 donations of toys, books and a variety of other gifts in the past.

Freshman Ian MacMiller, who has contributed to this year’s drive, said, “It is a very beneficial event, and I think it’s good that we’re participating in it to help kids in need.”

Senior cross country member Shane Bissell, who helped deliver donated toys to various locations, said, “Coach Diaz has each member of the team contribute to the drive as much as they can throughout the year and bring in whatever toys we have.”

Originally an effort to reach out to Loyola’s community and help underprivileged children, the Club Unity Toy Drive project has grown into a project that revolves around enforcing the Grad at Grad qualities in Cubs. Diaz said, “The project builds the Jesuit philosophy of a Man for Others in all those who donate.”

The Club Unity Toy Drive is part of the greater Annual Toys-for-Tots program run by the U.S. Marine Corps, which collects unwrapped dolls, cars, action figures and a variety of other toys from local communities. These toys are given to a nearby U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and eventually distributed to children who live in financially challenged neighborhoods.

Sophomore Eric Kim said, “You don’t get anything out of donating, but it’s good that we’re getting involved with our community and helping children.”

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