SDSU’s Interfraternity Council wraps up week-long Toys for Tots fundraiser, raises $500

On+Dec.+14+SDSU%27s+Interfraternity+Council+announced+they+had+raised+%24500+for+the+Toys+for+Tots+foundation.+

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On Dec. 14 SDSU’s Interfraternity Council announced they had raised $500 for the Toys for Tots foundation.

by Jayne Yutig, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s Interfraternity Council wrapped up its week-long Toys for Tots fundraiser supporting families in need and put toys in the hands of children across the county. The IFC raised $500 for the organization. 

Local restaurants including Jersey Mike’s Subs, Epic Wings, Woodstock’s Pizza and Shake Smart at SDSU all joined the cause, donating 10% of their proceeds to the foundation.

IFC Vice President of Programming, Evan Ferguson previously worked with Toys for Tots, an organization founded in Southern California by the Marines Corps and provides local families in San Diego with toys during the holidays.

“When I have worked with them it’s been a lot of volunteer work in person, helping sort toys and getting them distributed to less fortunate kids which is growing during this time because a lot of people are struggling during the pandemic,” Ferguson said.

As the days close in on the December holidays and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect families, Toys for Tots has become an annual Christmas charity that families in need depend on now, more than ever.

IFC President Lee Abed said he was grateful just to be in the position to help San Diego families. 

“I’m grateful to be in a position where I can help impact such a great organization and help raise money for a good cause such as providing toys for less fortunate children,” Abed said.

While families struggle through one of the hardest holiday seasons in American history, charities like Toys for Tots are also experiencing hard times. Community service and charity events rely heavily on in-person volunteers and have experienced serious short-falls due to COVID-19 restrictions.  

“A lot of their help is based on volunteering and in-person stuff, we really thought they could use the extra help and chose them as our cause for this event,” Ferguson said.

Executing a successful fundraising campaign during a turbulent virtual semester has become a serious challenge for the IFC. Hurdles include a social moratorium put in place at the onset of the semester due to COVID-19,  a digital fall rush and all facets of greek life going online. 

“Everything’s changed and we’ve really had to maneuver through it,” Ferguson said. 

Abed conceded that his first goal for 2021 is to be a better guide for the council during such a chaotic time for students and greek life.

“The chapter presidents this year faced extremely difficult circumstances and I want to find ways to be a better resource for them in the coming semesters,” Abed said.

Ferguson said despite a few obstacles, philanthropy remains a core mission of the IFC and Greek life.

“(Members) are able to give back to the community and should give back to the community, and there’s essentially no reason not to or stop it or slow down philanthropy,” Ferguson said. “For pretty much every challenge we’ve looked at, we’ve been able to find some way around it. There really hasn’t been any challenges that are just completely cut off where there’s absolutely no solution.”

As the fall semester is now over and students begin preparing for another semester of uncertainty, Abed is optimistic about the gains the IFC has made since August. Abed said he’s looking forward to the continued work of RJ Hullum, who joined the IFC’s executive board in a newly created position during the summer.

“I have been very proud of the work the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee has done thus far and I’m excited to see where RJ takes it,” Abed said. 

The IFC capped off a semester of philanthropy that included a partnership with San Diego Blood Bank for it’s October convalescent plasma blood drive that helped patients being treated for the coronavirus. All of the IFC’s fundraisers this semester were executed using Zoom and social media.

“It’s essentially a time to really show that you are able to maneuver it, and to still find ways to give back to the community and make a positive impact despite a couple of challenges here and there,” Ferguson said.

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