West Virginia University students are helping to make local children’s holidays a bit more memorable this year.

WVU Student Organizations Services and the Student Government Association are asking the community to sponsor a child for the annual Student Helping Other People (SHOP) and donate toys to the Toy Mountain holiday program.

“The holidays are a special time for all of us. Every kid should be able to share in the joy of the season. In order to include as many children as possible in the program, we need people to take time to give,” said James Bailey, SHOP/Toy Mountain coordinator. “It’s a program that’s about helping children have a bright Christmas. That’s pretty special.”

SHOP is a program that pairs WVU student volunteers with local children ages 3-12 who shop for presents. Those children and volunteers take to the aisles of Super K-Mart in search of toys, clothes and other items up to $85.

“There’s memorable moments made every year. I’ll never forget one year when a little boy wanted to buy a flashlight for his mom, so she could see walking to her car in the early morning when she leaves for work. A lot of times, the kids will want to buy their parents a gift,” Bailey said. “The most special aspect of the program is the joy that the participants receive. Every year, it’s easy to see that the college-aged volunteers are having even more fun than the young kids.”

This year’s SHOP event will take place Dec. 10 starting at the Mountainlair. WVU buses will provide transportation to Super K-Mart.

To donate by Dec. 8 at noon, make checks payable to WVU S.H.O.P and mail to attention Sue Henry, Student Organizations Services, PO Box 6444, Morgantown, WV 26505.

WVU students interested in volunteering to help with SHOP, contact Bailey at 304-293-4397 or James.Bailey@mail.wvu.edu. You can also download a volunteer sign-up form at this website: http://sos.wvu.edu/r/download/114671.

Toy donations are also needed to build the University’s annual Toy Mountain 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.

The Toy Mountain will be set up in the Mountainlair starting on Dec. 5. University President James P. Clements, Director of Student Organizations Services Ron Justice, Bailey and others will speak about the holiday initiatives in front of Toy Mountain on Dec. 6 at 11:30 a.m.

Financial and toy contributions will also be collected at the Dec. 10 basketball game vs. Miami. Fans attending the contest are asked to donate toys, which will be collected starting at 6 p.m. before the game.

“We know the Mountaineer spirit is about giving and it goes to show how the student body really supports efforts to help other people. It’s a key part of who we are,” Bailey said.



CONTACT: James Bailey, SHOP/Toy Mountain
304-293-4397, James.Bailey@mail.wvu.edu

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.