Cal Poly Employees Donate More than 400 Toys to Jack’s Helping Hand

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Children with cancer and other special needs in the community will receive toys and gift cards that were donated by Cal Poly employees.

University faculty and staff and Associated Students Inc. and Cal Poly Corporation employees donated more than 400 toys and $300 in gift cards during a Dec. 7 holiday reception hosted on campus by Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and his wife, Sharon.

The gifts were taken to San Luis Obispo nonprofit Jack’s Helping Hand, which provides assistance and programs to children with cancer, disabilities, other illnesses and special needs.

“We have so many families that these gifts will benefit during this holiday season,” said Karen Borges, executive director of Jack’s Helping Hand. “Our nonprofit works with over 100 families every month. We will use the toys all year long.”

Some of the toys may be given to children at Jack’s Helping Hand’s upcoming oncology Christmas party at the Madonna Inn or may be picked up by families next week at the nonprofit’s office.

Others will be used to fill a toy cabinet, where children can pick a toy to take with them when they travel to Los Angeles, the Bay Area or the Central Valley for chemotherapy, surgery or pediatric specialty treatments. And still more toys will be given to children and their families at an annual pediatric cancer camp, Camp Reach for the Stars, held the first weekend of June at Camp Yeager in Cambria, Borges said.

Jack’s Helping Hand was founded by Paul and Bridget Ready in memory of their son Jack, whose three-year struggle with a rare form of brain cancer ended in 2004. During Jack’s treatments, the Readys realized that many families of children with disabilities require assistance to meet their children’s special needs. They created Jack’s Helping Hand to fill this need in our community. Learn more at

Photo of toys donated by Cal Poly employees during the Dec. 7 toy drive on campus.
Contact: Cynthia Lambert

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