The International Changemaker

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The International Changemaker

The International Changemaker

Toy Drive at EF Academy Pasadena: Spreading Christmas Cheer to Those in Need

Dean Sean, Daniel, Tilak, and Tiffany donate toys at Dr. M.’s coco and cookies event. December 7th, 2023.

EF Academy Pasadena is excited to announce its annual Christmas Toy Drive, organized by the Community Service Club in collaboration with the Pasadena Fire Department. This heartwarming initiative aims to bring joy and happiness to kids during the holiday season.

From Wednesday, November 21st to December 14th, students and staff are encouraged to participate by donating new, unused, and unwrapped toys for girls and boys ages 0-17. Donation boxes can be found at convenient locations throughout the campus, including Blackwell’s first floor, Strong Hall’s ground floor, Cena Wing, and Boxelder Dorm. From 6th to 7th December, advisories from all grades will be taken to Dr. Mingarelli, the head of school, house where they also can donate new toys for kids! These toys will be collected and transferred to the Pasadena Fire Department, where they will be distributed to children in need.

“I want to help kids to feel the atmosphere of the holidays, and I already have three toys to donate. The Community Service Club is so meaningful for me because I truly want to make a difference and help others,” Seojun Han, a member of the Community Service Club shared his enthusiasm.

The Toy Drive not only provides presents for children but also allows them to feel the support and love of the community during this special time of year. While the holiday season is filled with joy for many, it can also be a stressful and anxious time for struggling families. Parents who are barely making ends meet still want their children to experience the excitement of receiving the toys they dream of. This is where the Toy Drive plays a crucial role in filling the need and making dreams come true.

Students of EF Academy putting their gifts close to Cena wing. 6th of December. (Daria Kalinichenko)

EF Academy Pasadena is calling for the donation of new, unwrapped toys suitable for children of all ages, from little kids to teenagers. The recommended gift ideas include :

Board games for all ages;
Baby dolls or construction toys;
Gift cards: Popular stores are a great way to give teens the gift of choice and a fun experience. Gift cards for Shoppers, Walmart, VISA, Sephora, clothing stores, and restaurants are all good choices;
Wallets or purses: Stores like Walmart, Ardene, and Claire’s have good selections of well-priced items that are perfect for donating;
LEGO Sets: LEGO is a popular choice for preteens. There are dozens of different sets ranging from simple to complex;
Sports Equipment: Sports equipment is always a popular choice for active teenagers. Footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, and frisbees are all good options. You can also look for outdoor game packs that the whole family can enjoy.

Making an impact is important, so even a donation of a toy with a $10 price tag would be a good gesture and would touch the hearts of children!

Daria Kalinichenko

Felix Tsai, a 10th-grade student at EF Academy Pasadena, expressed his motivation to participate, saying, “I just want to help out kids in need and create a joyful Christmas atmosphere.” The impact of these gifts cannot be overstated. For some children, these toys may be the only gifts they receive, and it means the world to them. It sets them up for a time of joy, hope, and the knowledge that they are remembered and cared for.

EF Academy Pasadena invites everyone to join in this wonderful initiative and make a difference in the lives of children in need. Let’s come together as a community to spread the Christmas spirit and bring happiness to those who need it the most. Remember, your contribution will make a child’s Christmas extra special and create memories that will last a lifetime!

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About the Contributor
Daria Kalinichenko, Codeitor-In-Chief
Daria Kalinichenko is a 17-year-old senior and the Coeditor-In-Chief of The International Changemaker Newspaper. As a Ukrainian activist and founder of the non-profit organization “Sea Sheriff,” she promotes personal growth and aims to inspire others to make a positive impact on their community and the world. Being born and raised in Ukraine, she moved to California at the age of 16 to continue her education at EF Academy Pasadena. With experience in scientific writing in the fields of sociology, cognitive psychology, and AI, she brings a unique perspective and hands-on experience to assist and support other writers. 

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