Salon toy drive benefits local police


Story by Whitney Silkey, Assistant News Editor

The Baldwin City Police Department had a pleasant surprise on Oct. 20 when it received more than 50 stuffed animals that were collected and donated by a freshman Salon 101 class.

The class members, led by Sara Crump, associate professor of psychology, voted on a service project for the fall semester. They decided to collect toys, specifically stuffed animals, for the local police department. The idea for the toy drive came to their attention after a suggestion from an aide for a student who is auditing the class.

The speech aide happened to know that the Baldwin City Police Department had recently run out of the toys that they keep in their patrol cars to give to kids after a traumatizing events, such as a car accident or a house fire. The need for toys had led Corporal Kim Springer from the Baldwin City Police Department to post a request on her personal page asking for donations of new stuffed animals.

Baldwin City Police Chief Greg Neis said that officers can give them to a child after an accident or “any time that they are dealing with a young one that could be upset.”

“We heard stories about how people keep those toys for the rest of their life,” freshman Walker Borghardt said. “I thought that was really cool that we could help give them relics for their entire life.”

In preparation for the drive, students created slogans, made posters and chalked the sidewalk outside of Mabee Hall to help spark people’s interest in donating toys for the cause.

The Salon students held the toy drive Oct. 12 to 15 during lunchtime in the Long Student Center.

“It was just a chance to give to those who serve for us,” freshman McKena Metzger said. “Those police officers are then giving those toys to children that are in traumatizing events in their life.”

By the end of the week, Crump’s office had boxes of toys stacked up in the corner.

“The students here are so giving,” Metzger said. “It really showed how giving our community really is even for a simple, small cause.”

Not only did Baker students donate, but also outside donors, including parents and a local church, helped bring the total number of collected toys to 52.

“I didn’t think there were going to be that many because everyone’s response is ‘Oh, I don’t have a toy,’” Borghardt said. “It’s nice to see that people do care about things that students are doing here at Baker.”

Crump, Borghardt, and Metzger were pleasantly surprised by the total amount of stuffed animal donations they collected, especially after they had only collected a total of four toys after the first day.

“I have just been overwhelmed,” Crump said. “I’m just pleased and surprised and so happy about how generous people have been.”