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The Buena Vista High School (BVHS) Student Council is once again hosting the 2022 “Toys 4 Tikes” Drive

Aleah Urbine, BVHS senior and Student Council (STUCO) Vice President has been involved in this project for four years. Shaundra Moss, Family Service/WRAP Coordinator for the Buena Vista School District works closely with Urbine.

“Aleah and several other students have provided for our families for several years,” Moss said. “They reach out to families, build relationships, shop, wrap each gift, and the family either have the gifts delivered or they are able to pick them up at the school.”

Toys 4 Tikes helps families in the Buena Vista community each year. Courtesy image

This year approximately 50 families will receive gifts. It’s “the most ever” according to Urbine. A day of shopping took place at Walmart on Nov. 29 and the team of 20 students has been wrapping gifts all this week.

A Team Effort

The annual project is a big team effort, involving the student council, their adviser Sarah Flowers, and Moss.

It all starts with outreach from Moss. “For the past 13 years, I have been working with the high school to make sure the children and families in our community receive help with Christmas. Yearly, I have met with the BVHS Student Council and we discuss the importance of confidentiality and what the expectations are of the students involved,” said Moss.

After that, “I gather names of students from preschool to fifth grade that would benefit from this amazing program. I contact the BV Christian Mission and other agencies to make sure children are not missed. The BVHS Student Council then contacts families and finds out what the children’s wish lists are.  If they have a hard time reaching them; I reach out to the families and pass the information on.”

Urbine reports that they get donations from the community and that the Student Council budget also helps out. She said that as part of the BV Christmas Celebration on Dec. 3, the Polar Plunge also helped raise money for Toys 4 Tikes. “We usually end up fundraising after the fact as well. It is just a little easier to make it happen that way. It also helps us get a jump start on next year! We are still happily taking donations and will be all year round! Anything for the kids!”

“The students have embraced Toys for Tikes and our community is blessed to have such a wonderful group of students that give so much of themselves,” said Shaundra Moss.

Added Urbine, “this project is something that means a lot to me, as I was in the original STUCO class. I hope to see this tradition continued and made into something even better!”

If readers have questions about the program or would like to help in any way, they are asked to contact either Sarah Flowers at 719-395-7122 or via email to sflowers@bvschools.org or alternately; Shaundra Moss at 719-395-5271  or via email to shaundram@bvschools.org