Each December, West Virginia University students have the opportunity through SHOP (Students Helping Other People) and Toy Mountain to help spread a little holiday cheer and bring smiles to needy children.

But they cant do it without the support of the WVU and Morgantown communities.

Through early December, WVU s Student Government Association and Student Organization Services will be collecting financial donations to sponsor 80 children ages 6-12 from Monongalia County.

Student volunteersmembers of student government, Greek fraternities and sororities, the Student Health Advisory Board and other campus organizationswill then accompany the kids to Super Kmart by the Morgantown Mall, where each child can purchase $75 worth of toys and clothes (or presents for mom and dad if they want).

This yearsSHOPpingspree is planned for Saturday, Dec. 9. Students and children will meet at the Mountainlair in the morning. There will be photos with Mountaineer mascot Brady Campbell, and buses will transport everyone to Super Kmart.

Following the trip, WVU students will host a pizza party in theLair, and kids will receive copies of their photos with the Mountaineer.

We hope everyone will embrace the spirit of giving so that children will have a brighter holiday,said Lisa Costello, SHOP and Toy Mountain coordinator.

SHOP and Toy Mountain are an excellent example of the Mountaineer spirit,she added.I volunteered with SHOP my sophomore year, and its one of the service activities Ill always remember because you get to interact with a child, and its a great feeling.

Financial donations will be accepted through Dec. 8. To contribute, send a check (payable toSHOP) to: SHOP , Student Organization Services, Mountainlair, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6444, Morgantown, WV 26506 -6444.

Meanwhile, theLair will again be home to Morgantowns largest mountain oftoys in mid-December.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 27, WVU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys (valued at $5 or more) from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Toy Mountain booth in theLair.

There will be free Maniac T-shirtscourtesy of the Mountaineer Maniacsfor the first 100 people who donate toys, Costello said, and everyone who contributes will be entered into a drawing for Mountaineer merchandise donated by the WVU Athletics Department.

Students will begin constructing the mountain on Dec. 4 in theLair food court.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, student government leaders will be joined by WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and Morgantown Mayor Ron Justice in theLair for a news briefing to announce the total amount raised for SHOP and to accept a check from WVU s Facilities Management, one of the programs largest contributors.

For more information on SHOP or Toy Mountain, contact Costello at 304-670-1030 or lisa.costello@mail.wvu.edu