UCPD hosts holiday toy drive to support Camp Fire survivors

UC Berkeley Public Affairs /Courtesy

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UCPD is hosting a toy drive to support young survivors of the Camp Fire who may have lost possessions or loved ones.

UCPD Captain Alex Yao came up with the idea after hearing numerous news reports about Camp Fire victims needing essentials, including clothing and water. According to Yao, UCPD takes pride in being a service-oriented department and has hosted many community service projects in the past, including its fifth annual Community United by Service, or C.U.B.S., Thanksgiving Turkey Drive.

“We thought we may be able to help to bring a little joy and smiles to the young victims of the Fire with a toy/school supply drive, especially during the holiday season,” Yao said in an email. “This C.U.B.S. for Kids toy/school supply drive started with an idea and a sense of wanting to help, and it grew into a collective effort demonstrating our humanity and compassion, and our bond of community and dedication to service.”

The donation collection period for the charity campaign runs until Dec. 17, after which UCPD will organize the toys and deliver them to Butte County school officials.

According to Yao, campus Vice Chancellor Marc Fisher and Assistant Vice Chancellor Ann Jeffrey have supported the charity effort since its inception and have helped publicize the event through the campus Office of Communications and Public Affairs. UCPD has also reached out to campus building coordinators and posted additional information on social media.

The project has been well-received by campus students, many of whom said they think the toy drive is a good way to help victims of the Camp Fire and allow the student body to contribute.

“It’s our obligation to help make their holidays as joyful as ours and as normal as possible, even though their families are going through a tough time,” said campus senior Ashley Kinder. “I think it’s a good idea to have boxes around campus because that makes it easy for everyone to donate, especially during finals week.”

According to UCPD’s Facebook page, there are more than 50 donation locations on campus, including the UCPD station in Sproul Hall. Toys donated to the drive should be new and unwrapped, and toys with violent imagery will not be accepted, according to the Facebook post.

“Many of our campus community members are also affected by the Camp Fire due to their connection to the Paradise area,” Yao said in an email. “Some have families there, and others know people who are victims of the Fire. One of the missions of the University is public service, and a fundamental of public service is to assist those in need and to help communities rebuild.”

Contact Jenny Weng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jennyweng1999.