Nursing Students’ Toy and Coat Drive a Big Holiday Hit

When Essex County College’s (ECC) Student Nurse Association put out a campus-wide call for donations to its Toy and Coat Drive benefitting ECC’s Child Development Center (CDC), the response was enormous.

“It was on short notice, but we received an overwhelming response from everyone. We all came together as a team to benefit the children,” said Nursing student Takeyah Spann, Director of Community Service for the Association.  

In just one week, donations poured which enabled Santa and Mrs. Claus to visit the Center on December 17, where they presented more than 60 bags of toys for the children. Clothing and coats were also collected and presented to the families of the children.   

“Our CDC families left the event thrilled and elated about the items received and the care that went into putting the event together.  Santa and Mrs. Claus were a big hit and put smiles on the faces of every child. Your joy and your spirit of giving were precious,” said CDC Director Virginia Flanigan.

You have helped spread the holiday spirit,” Porsha Davis, the CDC’s Interim Family Engagement and Assessment Coordinator, told the students.

For the record, Santa was played by Nursing student Terrence Rose. Nursing Professor Majuvy Sulse had the honor of portraying Mrs. Claus at the event.

Takeyah said it was an easy decision to select the CDC as the recipient of the Toy and Coat Drive. “The Center is right here at the College and we have done some of our nursing clinicals there. There’s a need in the community and we wanted to help,” she said.  

In addition to Takeyah, other members of the Student Nurse Association Executive Board include Joshua Morales, President; Racquel Young-Daley, Vice President; Clementine Williams, Secretary; Rox-Anne McKenzie, Treasurer; Laura Provenzano, Director of Fundraising; and Jennifer Alexandre, Director of Public Relations. Professors Majuvy Sulse and Donna Francis serve as advisors to the group.