Service Initiative Projects Toys for Tots and Cole’s Closet partner to host annual Toy Drive for children in need

Toys for Tots and Cole’s Closet are partnering together to host a Toy Drive from now until Dec. 15. Students can donate new or gently used toys and place them in the appropriate bins in the school lobby to be distributed before Christmas.
“The Christmas season is supposed to be full of joy,” Lulu C. ‘24, a co-student leader of the Cole’s Closet SIP, said. “However, joy can be hard to find when you are sick and in the hospital. It is important that we put in the effort to try and bring cheer into hospitals for the sick kids and their families, since they would most likely be home celebrating together. It is important to help those in need if we have the means to do so.”

Cole’s Closet, founded by Ellen and Steve Tomczyk in honor of their late son, Cole, brings toys to children spending the holidays in the hospital. Lulu’s family grew close to the Tomczyk family when their eldest sons were both in the hospital at the same time. 

“Cole passed away, but my brother made a miraculous recovery… from the point of their meeting and onward, my family has been avid supporters of Cole’s Closet,” Lulu shared. 

Toys for Tots SIP leader Jaelyn C. ‘25 shared that especially during this time of year, supporting charities such as these is important. 

“It’s a chance for the Oakcrest community to come together and make a difference in the lives of children who may be facing challenges or hardships,” she said. “Every child deserves to experience the magic of the holidays and receive a gift that brings a smile to their face. It’s heartwarming to know that our contributions can make that happen.” 

Through the Oakcrest Service Initiative Projects (SIP), students spearhead monthly programs that benefit the larger community, with the opportunity to share their time and talents. 

“The SIP program allows us to apply what we learn in the classroom to real-life situations, helping the student body to develop important life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving,” Jaelyn said. “It's a chance to step outside their comfort zones, connect with others, and make a lasting impact on the lives of those in need.”
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