The York College Alumni Association and National Society of Leadership Held a Toy Drive

By Jenelle Taylor

York College’s Alumni Association partnered with The National Society of Leadership, three local shelters, and one battered women’s shelter to hold their annual Toy Drive on Dec. 4.

The drive was coordinated by the Alumni Association and each member helped organize sponsors to collect toys and goods for children ages of 16 and under living in poverty. Even though the goal was for kids, the donations were not limited to toys. Boxes were placed in front of the Alumni Association office and the Public Safety office for students and faculty members to donate gifts.

The event was held in the multipurpose room which was decorated in red, green, and white, with a Christmas tree and balloons awaiting the arrival of between 60 and 100 kids.  

Michelle Mack, the president of the Alumni Association, was proud of the event’s turnout.

“This was the first year YC Radio was our entertainment for the kids and Bryan Graves did a remarkable job,” said Mack.  “The children were involved and on the floor having a good time. The Philippians Club came out and this is the second year the Cardinal cheerleaders were there.  The impact they had on the children was outstanding.”

Various Caribbean restaurant vendors participated in the event.  Sybil’s and The Door, local restaurants were the main caterers. After the festivities, the event concluded with a visit from Santa Claus.

Dr. Eula Dewitt, Board of Director of the Alumni Association, said she enjoys inspiring students.  She also said she wants them to realize York is there for them.

“United we stand, divided we fall,” she said.  “York is still standing.  It is still a dream come true.  Opportunities are available here and it’s our job to put wisdom in the children.  Let them come to York, take a stroll around York, and one day they will conquer.  Education is key,” she stated.

With Christmas near, most people are looking to donate as much as they can to those who cannot afford to spend the holidays the way they’d like to.  

“It’s important to donate toys to the less fortunate children as a way of giving back to the community,” said Raydell Sanders, a 21-year old York College student. “It’s great to share the things that you had when you were a child by giving a child something special for the holidays.”

Ray S. Reyhill, a Psychology major at York College, volunteers his free time to work with children who have disabilities and he enjoys every minute of it.  He can tell how appreciative they are when he just sits down and plays a little game with them.

“I feel if you can help children feel that there is someone there for them, they see that as a sign of hope and love for others,” Reyhill said.  “Our human nature is to love no matter how brutal society can be at times.”

“It feels good to give back to kids because it makes them feel like society didn’t forget about them,” said Nursing major Tiffany Joseph.

Mack said there are  several different components needed in life that are not found in a textbook.  She said she also learned how to not be small-minded.

“You don’t have to love golf, but you should learn how to swing it,” said Mack.  “In other words, you don’t have to love something but you should always give it a try.  My goal is to get that to the next generation.”

There are currently 15 members on the Alumni Board of Directors who work together to make a difference in the lives of York College students and the neighboring community.   

The association also sponsors the senior reception for graduating students, student receptions for the fall and spring semesters, four-year scholarships and grants for part-time students just to name a few. For more information on participating in charity events, contact  the alumni office at alumni@york.cuny.edu.

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