FAIRFIELD — The total was 425 early Friday and – with six days left – the goal of 500 donated gifts seems a sure thing.
Students at Rodriguez High School said improved promotion helps explains the success of a toy drive that last year ended with 151 donations and now is already nearly triple that number.
Fairfield Police Officer Joseph Holecek, who works at Rodriguez High as part of the Police Department’s youth services unit, will take the toys gathered in his office and turn them over Thursday to the Toys for Tots program of the United States Marine Corps.
Sophomore students Alex Harris, Connor Cooper, Teylor Guice and Connor Neufeld helped make the toy drive possible.
“There are just people who don’t have the same things we do,” said Harris, 15. “It’s good to be able to share.”
Cooper said other students are happy to learn about the holiday effort.
“They think it’s great,” he said. “They want to bring in a toy, too.”
Guice spoke about students seeing her carrying big bags of toys and asking about the holiday effort. She said the Rodriguez High drive provides the chance to assist others.
“I like to give people stuff that they don’t have every day,” the 15-year-old said.
Neufeld’s focus is on helping during the holidays.
“I just know that it goes to charity,” he said of the donated toys.
Ginger Lubbers, receptionist at the high school, said Holecek’s role is one reason for the toy drive’s success.
“Everybody like Officer Joe,” she said. “The kids really respect him.”
Lubbers said the school staff brought toys Wednesday and those donations helped boost the total.
“We’ll reach it,” she said about the goal of 500 toys.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.