BSM continues Toys for Tots tradition despite COVID


Audrey Weber

The BSM lobby welcomes gift donations for Toys for Tots

Audrey Weber, Staff Writer

It seems safe to say that we could all use a little extra holiday cheer this year, and what better way to spread that cheer beyond the halls of BSM and throughout our personal homes than to take part in the annual Toys for Tots program?

Toys for Tots is a nationwide program that BSM participates in. The program takes place annually during the holiday season. Though, it’s easy to walk past the donation station without giving any attention to the program and its initiative. “Toys for Tots is a national program run by the United States Marine Corps,” Becca Meagher, BSM’s campus minister, theology teacher, and Toys for Tots program organizer said.

The mission of the Toys for Tots Program is to provide Christmas gifts for children whose parents may be financially struggling and could use some assistance in providing for their children during the holiday season. 

Malik Jaiteh

All year long giving back to the community is important, but especially during the holiday season it is vital to look out for those in need, and for BSM students, Toys for Tots is a simple, but very impactful way to do so. “Any time we can help someone in need we are building the Kingdom of God. Toys for Tots is a great way for us to engage in a spirit of service and generosity during the holidays,” Meagher said. 

On behalf of BSM, usually, a number of RKVC and NHS members are in charge of the donation dropoff once all the toys have been collected. This year, some protocols have changed. Instead, senior Anders Peterson, who has participated in the program for multiple years, will be carrying out the donation drop off. “I have participated in Toys for Tots for many years, but only as a donor. Every year, I remember going to the store to pick out a toy to donate, and it was fun,” Peterson said. 

That’s not to say that the pandemic hasn’t presented difficulties for the Toys for Tots program. Giving back to the community and safely doing so in this day and age has been hit hard by the pandemic. “Nationally I think the pandemic has impacted donations and volunteers – both of which are needed,” Meagher said. 

With all the financial difficulty the pandemic has presented, the BSM community involvement in the Toys for Tots program is more vital than ever. “Many parents who thought they’d never need it are reaching out to food shelves and things like Toys for Tots to fill the gap,” Peterson said. 

Despite the challenges this year has presented, Toys for Tots isn’t going anywhere. It’s a tradition that not only greatly brightens the lives of the gift recipients, but also those within the BSM community. “It’s fun to see the toys pile up each year and to know that BSM is reaching out to our dear neighbor in a real, tangible way,” Meagher said. 

When one gives back to the community, everyone benefits, and it truly leaves a lasting impact on everyone involved. “Toys for Tots is special to me because kids need to have something to look forward to at Christmas every year,” Peterson said. 

For Peterson, after participating in the program for a few years now, he has been able to see just how far a small act of kindness can go. “My role is very small, but as a senior now, I’ve seen first-hand that Benilde works really hard to show up when people need help,” Peterson said.