Joy to the kids; the toy drive has come!

School-wide competition helps make Christmas merrier


Photo by Olivia Marcinkus

Imagine waking up on Christmas Day with no presents in the morning. The devastating sadness a child would feel to see this is heartbreaking.

The Walter & Nancy Payton 34 Foundation was created to combat this issue. They serve the children of Chicago to give them a Christmas to be excited for.

Walter Payton’s son, Jared Payton, graduated from Saint Viator almost 14 years ago and the school has been participating in the Walter Payton Toy Drive ever since. The purpose is to give underprivileged children toys and gifts that will allow them to cherish the holidays instead of feeling deprived of the holiday spirit.

“We want kids that don’t have a happy Christmas to have a happy Christmas,” said Mrs. Anne Marie Lowery, Director of Student Activities. “Kids deserve to wake up to presents on Christmas morning and feel a sense of joy.”

Each grade level competes to see who can fill the most boxes with toys. Last year, the seniors won with a staggering total of nine full boxes. In total, the school filled 25 boxes of toys. The same competition was held this year and the class that wins will get a dress down day.

“I think the holiday toy drive indicates what the season of giving is all about,” said senior Bryce McDonnell about his views on the giving season. “For parents struggling to provide the essentials to their children, celebrating the holidays with gift giving—something that we take for granted and complain about—can be extremely difficult and stressful for reasons other than deciding what to give someone.”

According to Mrs. Lowery, students donate to the Walter Payton Toy Drive for several reasons.

Some donate because they feel the need to give children the Christmas that they truly deserve. Others simply find toys that they haven’t ever used and feel the urge to donate them. Overall, students realize that it isn’t fair for underprivileged kids to have a Christmas of sadness without gifts, and they all want to donate toys to bring joy and happiness to the kids.

“The kids can’t afford to have toys, so it is our duty as Viator students to give them a Christmas to be happy for,” said sophomore Kris Lipiarz.