ECU News Services

Toya Jacobs, ECU Student Affairs assessment and planning coordinator, straightens items in a collection of toys donated for the Organization of African American Staff's annual toy drive. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Annual Toy Drive Fulfills Holiday Wishes

By Joy Holster

The Organization of African American Staff at East Carolina University held its annual toy drive Dec. 17 at the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

Support for the toy drive was excellent this year, said Lola Thompson, administrative support associate in Academic Programs and chair of the organization.

"We were able to completely fill the Christmas wish lists for five local families," she said, "including one new bicycle for a little boy."

Wish lists were provided through the Department of Social Services and Pitt County Schools. Any items remaining after the wish lists were filled were donated to a local community support organization for their annual holiday party.

Items collected were delivered Dec. 18.

"We were so excited about how members of the ECU community got involved with the toy drive. We want to thank everyone for their contributions and wish them a wonderful, prosperous New Year," Thompson said.

The OAAS supports African American staff, faculty and students at ECU through programs that encourage cultural and professional development, wellness, networking, mentorship, leadership, community outreach, scholarship and economic prosperity. The group helps provide a unified voice to the administration and the university on topics that affect African American staff and students on campus.

Upcoming programs sponsored by the organization include an "I Have a Dream" Down East Potluck Lunch at the Willis Building, Jan. 15, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; the Red Carpet Gala, Honoring African American Contributions, at the Hilton Greenville, Feb. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Are We Smarter than Middle Graders, African American Quiz Bowl, March 20. Time and location for the quiz bowl will be announced at a later date.

Membership in the OAAS is open to all ECU employees. For additional information, contact Lola Thompson at 328-5358,

This story appeared originally in the Dec. 21, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at