West Virginia University students want to make sure all local children have a happy holiday season.

The students are reaching out to the WVU community for help in preparing for the annual Students Helping Other People (SHOP) and Toy Mountain programs to benefit local children in need.

WVU’s Student Organization Services and Student Government Association are collecting financial donations, to benefit 80 or more kids ages 6-12 from Monongalia County through mid-December.

“SHOP and Toy Mountain are outstanding programs that not only provide happier holidays to countless children throughout Monongalia County, but also provide volunteers and contributors with an amazingly rewarding feeling,” said James Bailey, SHOP/Toy Mountain coordinator. “Due to several factors, we must raise more money than ever this year, and we need all the help we can get from the community.”

On Dec. 11, student volunteers will accompany the children on a shopping trip to Super Kmart by the Morgantown Mall, where each child can purchase $75 worth of toys and clothes. The children may also purchase presents for mom and dad if they prefer.

The children and student volunteers will be bused from the Mountainlair around 8:30 a.m. There will be photos with Mountaineer mascot Brock Burwell before the buses leave, and pizza will be provided when the children return.

To contribute, send a check payable to SHOP to: Attn: Sue Henry, SHOP, Student Organization Services, Mountainlair, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 6444, Morgantown, WV 26506-6444.

Toy donations are also needed to build the University’s annual mountain of toys in the Mountainlair food court. WVU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to drop off new, unwrapped toys (valued at $5 or more) at the Student Organization Services office in the Mountainlair. The toys will go to the Salvation Army and Christian Help.

Financial and toy contributions will also be collected at the Dec. 7 WVU-Robert Morris basketball game.

Student volunteers are needed to accompany the children on their shopping trip. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact Bailey at 304-293-4397.