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Briar Cliff University's Men of Color Annual Toy Drive

November 25, 2019 | by Ben Pigg

Briar Cliff University’s Men of Color club plans to hold their fifth annual toy drive to gift preschool aged children from November 1st through December 1st.

Lead by Justin Rhodes, an assistant director of multicultural and international student programs at Briar Cliff, the MOC club consists of students from all ethnicities around campus and has a goal to aid the less fortunate.

“The mission of the MOC is to help those who are underrepresented and those with less,” says Rhodes. In this case, MOC targeted a low income preschool in the Siouxland area earlier in the year and has strived to be a blessing to them.

“There’s a lot of preschools and we usually work with one. I got with the community action agency that works with low income and they helped us connect with Mary Elizabeth preschool and daycare,” says Rhodes.

For the previous four years, MOC has been responsible for about 75 preschool aged children but this year Rhodes switched it up. “This preschool also serves as a daycare and preschool age is usually 3-5 but since they’re a daycare they’re ruled up to age 10.”

The children at these preschools make a wish list of one or two items they’re interested in and copies of the wish list are given to MOC and to the Launchpad Museum who’s partnered up with MOC. “Our partnership with Launchpad is one of the many reasons we’re able to still keep this going. The community comes out to the Launchpad and once they see that box, they really do give,” says Rhodes.

The Launchpad isn’t the only way MOC is able to gift the preschoolers. “We have a Halloween party and we sell tickets for the party to students, but at the end of the day it's a good cost. Last Halloween we raised $1,000 and $500 of that will go directly towards the toy drive,” says Rhodes.

MOC has been fortunate enough to be a blessing to underprivileged preschool kids for five years now. Dearion Stokes is a member of the MOC club and looks forward to the smiles they continually put on the childrens faces. “It’s a warm feeling, it makes you grateful for the things that you have. I come from a single parent home and we always didn’t have everything and just seeing people come from a similar background and being able to give back in the way I am, is a good feelings,” says Stokes.

Pictured is Jay Rhodes MOC’s director. Rhodes organizes all of MOC’s fundraisers.

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