Contact: Anissa Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine
The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) family didn’t let the coronavirus pandemic deter the true spirit of giving to help make the holidays a little merrier. On Fri., Dec. 11, all pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first-grade children at George Washington Carver (GWC) Elementary School located in Tuskegee, got a special treat from TUCVM’s Santa and helpers with a drive-up event.
Due to COVID-19, many plans for the university have been revamped. So the College’s Office of Student Affairs, under the leadership of Dean Ruby L. Perry and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Fredrick Tippett, decided to continue what is now an annual tradition and move forward with the Sixth Annual TUCVM "Toy Drive for Tots,” just with a little different twist.
“The ‘Toy Drive for Tots’ is an annual tradition in our college that was inspired by the Class of 2019 and the TUCVM administration. The event is supported with active engagement from the college’s faculty, staff and students. Although done slightly different this year due to the pandemic, Dr. Tippett and his helpers made sure all 233 students were remembered during this holiday season,” Dean Perry said.
The purpose of the “Toy Drive for Tots” event was to help parents purchase toys and school supplies for the holidays for all 233 boys and girls at GWC Elementary School in the Pre-K, K, and 1st grades.
“Our TUCVM first-year class has traditionally been responsible for the holiday decorations in the lobby at the college as well as taking the lead in the annual toy drive event collection. However, because of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to distribute gift cards, not toys and we held a ‘drive-up gift card distribution’ event at GWC not an ‘inside-gym/auditorium’ activity to pass out toys as we did last year,” Dr. Tippett said.
“Due to our dean’s support and the giving hearts of our TUCVM family, we were successful in giving each of the 233 children a $10.00 gift card which could be used to purchase holiday gifts and school items. The drive up event was a joyous celebration with the children at GWC,” Tippett concluded.
To ensure all 233 boys and girls in all three classes at the elementary school received a gift card; TUCVM divided its efforts for the gift card collection into three sections among the four veterinary medical classes of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024 and the TUCVM faculty and staff. The Office of Student Affairs and GWC teachers assisted (as Santa and his helpers) in the distribution of the gift cards to each student as the cars drove up to the school.
GWC’s Principal Norman Williams, Jr., Counselor Gloria Clinkscales and the GWC other committee members Susan Gandy, Natasha Sparks and Curtis Wynn helped with the gift card drive-up organization on the school’s end. The teachers and administration at George Washington Carver Elementary School were appreciative that the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine had again continued the tradition in selecting their students to participate in the “Toy Drive for Tots” program.
“Thanks to the college’s students, faculty and staff, under the direction of Dr. Tippett and the Office of Student Affairs, for diligently working to make the drive by gift card event for the ‘2020 Toy Drive for Tots’ a success. In a year of so much sadness, it is wonderful to be able to lift the spirits of children and help make their holidays special.” Perry said.
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