More than $3,700 worth of toys were delivered to Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas on December 14 from the Vandegrift band and Vision Dance Co. Toy Drive.
Vandegrift junior Sebastien Patel spearheaded a toy drive with the VHS band and Vision Dance Company. Patel was on Spectrum News earlier this month discussing his initiative.”
By SEBASTIEN PATEL
Every child deserves a joyful and memorable holiday season, regardless of their circumstances. The mission of the VHS Band & Vision Toy Drive is to share love, compassion, and the spirit of giving to brighten the holidays for families with loved ones spending the season at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.
Throughout the year, the Vandegrift band program thrives on the support of our local community and couldn’t be as successful as it is without the community’s love and encouragement. Recognizing the invaluable support we receive, I wanted to find a way to show our appreciation and give back to the local community. As a token of gratitude and a means of supporting those in need during the holiday season, I spearheaded a Vandegrift Band and Vision Dance Company Toy Drive in support of Dell Children’s Medical Center.
In August, before the school year kicked off, I ran the idea of a toy drive by Mrs. Katie VanDoren, the Vandegrift High School director of bands. She liked the idea and agreed to be our teacher sponsor. In the following months, I worked on creating posters, designing the donation box, and planning out our marketing and social media approach to spread the word about the toy drive.
We officially launched the toy drive in mid-November. Our mission was to collect as many new, unwrapped toys for Dell Children’s as possible. I hoped that at least half the band students would participate and set an aggressive initial goal to collect 150 toys. Surpassing expectations, we collected 316 toys with a donation value of over $3700. We were also fortunate to receive generous donations from former band families as well.
The overwhelming support from my fellow band and vision students has been heartening, and I’m genuinely proud of our collective efforts to bring joy to others this holiday season.
The philosophy of education of the VHS Band and Vision Dance Company program is to “ensure that the whole child is being educated”, whether that is on the field, in the classroom, or through life experiences. We are taught to “Define the Standard” in all we do, both on and off the marching field. Understanding our civic responsibility is an invaluable lesson for all students. This toy drive is an excellent way for all band students to gain first-hand experience in the importance of civic duty, as well as act as a reminder to be grateful for all we have and the importance of supporting others around us.