Students Deliver Bags of Joy to Poor Children

Students Bring Christmas Joy to Poor Children

Poor children sit weeping in the corner. It’s Christmas morning, and their parents could not afford to buy them toys.

And that breaks the children’s hearts.

That some children are subjected to a toy-less Christmas motivated dozens of NJIT students, who set up tables in the Campus Center and asked all who passed -- fellow students, professors and NJIT employees -- to donate to a toy drive.

Many did donate: Some gave cash, some toys -- both new and used -- while others bought home-made cookies or plaques.

 “Once again the NJIT community helped poor children in need,” said Humberto Baquerizo, the assistant director of Greek life, whose office organized the month-long drive. “It’s very gratifying to me to see such generosity.” 

Altogether the students, many of whom belong to service-oriented fraternities and sororities, collected toys worth $2,500. And last week the students delivered the toys to local charity groups: the Salvation Army, Harmony House, the Focus, and the Hispanic Center for Community Development and the Goodwill.

Ivette Rodriguez, a junior, helped deliver bags of toys – bundles of joy that come Christmas morning will turn tears to smiles – to the charities. It was sleeting that day and the roads were slick with ice. She also had an exam the following day, for which she needed to study. Nevertheless she still made time to deliver the toys. She had spent many afternoons manning the tables, asking passersby for donations. Her sorority sisters from Delta Phi Epsilon took turns helping her. 

Rodriquez comes from humble circumstances: her parents emigrated here from Cuba and didn't have the luxury of attending college. They had to work hard to support their children and their Christmases were not lavish affairs. Empathizing with poor children thus comes easily to Rodriguez, especially this time of year.

“Now my family has large and happy Christmases,” says Rodriguez. “But when I was a child my parents were struggling and we didn't have large Christmases. So anything I can do to prevent children from crying on Christmas morning -- I'll do.” 

(by Robert Florida, University Web Services)