It’s the holiday season and people are in the giving spirit. However, with several toy, clothing and food drives on campus, students might not know where to give.
Pearline Lung, 2nd Vice President of the Humber Faculty Union, has helped organize a drive for Humber staff. While staff get priority, any remaining items will be donated to another charity for families-in-need. The drive, which is accepting donations of food, clothing and toys until December 9, is struggling to receive items.
“Getting the word out is a big issue,” Lung said. “The issue would be there are too many places to give right now. There are at least three other drives going on at Humber, and they’re all for different causes.”
One of the other drives going on at Humber allows students to donate food in exchange for paying library fines.
Amy Weir, the health sciences liaison at the library, is organizing a Food for Fines at the library. Students who have fees to pay to the library can donate food instead of paying their fines.
“The basic premise is that we run a program that encourages students to donate food items,” said Weir. “For each student that donates, we wave $2 off of a student’s eligible library fines. So say if a student has $20 in fines, they can bring in 10 food items and have all of that waived.”
Weir believes the best way to get students to donate is through getting the word out.
“Word of mouth also helps,” she said. “Our staff is really diligent about telling students. During the season, our staff is really good about telling them about the program.
“There’s so much going on at Humber and I think getting the word about anything is tricky. There’s constantly events going on, and it’s hard to keep track of everything. I think the word of mouth is what really kind of has an impact,” she said.
Paul Iskander and Megan Thomas run a toy drive in residence that benefits the Children’s Aid Society and the Boys and Girls Club. It’s the 15th year that this drive has run, and it has been successful each year since it started.
“The intent is to bring a smile to a child during Christmas,” said Iskander. “It kind of hits home if you just imagine on a Christmas day if you head home and there’s nothing under the Christmas tree. It gives you hope. You know there’s still some people who care about this.”
Thomas has seen the drive grow from year-to-year.
“I’ve personally been doing this for about three years, and I think we’ve seen an increase every year,” she said. “We also are seeing an increase in other departments that are doing their own drives, so there is a bit more competition coming on board.”
The success of holiday drives throughout the season are attributed by many to the desire to give.
“Humber is a big family, and it’s nice they all come together,” Iskander said.