The Psi Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., in concert with the Pearl Elegance Foundation, recently donated a variety of toys for the students of its adopted school, Oaklands Elementary in Laurel, Md.
The toys include Barbie dolls, board games and basketballs. The donations are ongoing, with the goal of having 800 toys available to students by Dec. 18.
“This support means everything to us,” said Jewel Preston, principal of Oaklands Elementary. “Through our partnership with [Psi Epsilon Omega] and [the Pearl Elegance Foundation], we have provided a food pantry, monetary donations and volunteer hours. Unlike previous years, we wanted to do something special for the kids this year. A toy drive is something that the students can directly benefit from. Parents will be able to shop for their kids secretly. We wanted our students to be able to get gifts and feel the love during Christmas.”
On Dec. 18, Oaklands Elementary parents are invited to come to the school for a shopping day. The school advises the parents to sign up for the event.
Each participating parent can collect two gifts per student along with a coat, hat, gloves, scarf and blanket. The gifts will be unwrapped, allowing the parents to select what they know their child wants and the parents will have the chance to wrap the gifts themselves.
The toy drive is a local effort aligned with the organization’s national Target 3: Operation AKA Assist and Target 5: Global Impact for the Community.
Benita Swindell, Psi Epsilon Omega president, said the event serves as an example of her chapter’s commitment to community service and helping others.
“For Psi Epsilon Omega service to the community and to the families at Oaklands happens all year long, but this time of year is an opportunity to do something special and meaningful for the students,” she said. “Our members are overwhelmingly supporting this project.”