Firsts, Bests and Only’s in Modern Languages & Literatures

From Cal State Los Angeles to El Salvador

This past Christmas, Sigma Delta Pi (A National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society) in cooperation with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures had the first toy drive of its history uniting professors, staff, students, and community in a noble cause. The purpose was to collect as many toys as possible to send to some of the poorest rural communities in El Salvador. A box was placed in the Modern Languages and Literatures’ office with the support of our chair, Professor Costa. The response was unbelievable!!!! We watched the contents grow from a teddy bear placed there initially by Professor Dumitrescu to so many more. The volunteers happily placed another box as well as bags to be able to hold the overflowing output of support. All the toys seemed to grow more and more everyday!!!! Everyone got on board enthusiastically donating toys as well as monetary contributions to be part of bringing a smile to these children’s life and embodying the Christmas spirit. Professor Dumitrescu, Professor Retzer, Professor Solomianski, as well as countless others donated generously to this great effort. Working with El Pescador committee here, a whole ship compartment was filled with dolls, cars, stuffed animals, and an assortment of different toys. The toys were shipped to El Salvador and made it on time to be handed out by Christmas. The Salvadorean community impacted by the drive was extremely thankful as for some of the children the toy they received from the toy drive was the only gift they obtained for Christmas. This event has been part of my family for a few years, and I was extremely happy that this past year my association Sigma Delta Pi and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures were also part of it. I hope that this becomes a tradition that will continue in the coming years. You can view a video of how the toys are distributed from a report done in 2010 about this thoughtful project in the following YouTube link: