Students from the Moraine Valley Community College International Student Ambassadors donated toys to the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation in Orland Park and socks to We Care of Grundy County in Morris, IL.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, student organizations were unable to meet or fundraise as normal this semester. However, the International Student Ambassadors had funds previously saved and wanted to give back to those in need.
“This semester, they wanted to focus on activities that would be educational, an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange where they could give back to the community,” said Nereida Encina, Moraine Valley international student services specialist and International Student Ambassadors co-advisor.
The students purchased Barbies, Play-Doh, cards, stuffed animals and little cars for the Treasure Chest Foundation. Prior to the donation, the charity hadn’t received as many contributions because of the pandemic.
“The lady to whom we gave the toys was really happy. They showed us the place, and they have a big warehouse. It felt good to give back to them. We hope all the kids that receive the toys are happy as well,” said Nicolette Pena Lara, International Student Ambassador from Mexico.
“We as an organization knew that it was our responsibility to give back to the community,” added Chinny Ebisi, International Student Ambassador from Nigeria.
In addition to donating locally, one student ambassador, who takes classes from Saudi Arabia and intends to eventually study on campus, decided to give back where he lives and donated food to people in need.
“I think it was a great opportunity for our student ambassadors to demonstrate their appreciation to the community that has been their home away from home, and to these organizations that have supported those in need for years,” Encina said. “We are extremely proud that the students were able to put a smile on those kids’ faces and to people in need this holiday season. We also are delighted that our ambassadors learned about different organizations within the community and the support services they offer. The fact that one student was able to give back to his own community, across the world from us, shows that Moraine Valley and our student impact is worldwide.”