Her mother and sister work in school systems so they see children all the time who could use an extra toy or two.
Instead of just being aware of the situation or writing a check to a good cause, sophomore Callie Bennett, a social work major at Southwest Minnesota State from Paynesville, and her family are doing something about it.
They are collecting toys to give away to needy children, an effort that is "more fun than just donating money," she said.
SMSU student Callie Bennett arranges some of the gently-used toys she is collecting to give to needy children.
The Misfit Toys Workshop toy collection drive - named after the Island of Misfit Toys from the story, "Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer - is going on now.
Sponsored by the SMSU Social Work Club, the Misfit Toys Workshop seeks to collect used toys to give to needy children.
Bennett said her family was active in girl scouts and service is a part of their life.
"We've always been thankful for what we have," she said.
Bennett's sister, Holly Steffl, has started a similar Misfit Toys Workshop in Redwood Falls, while her mother, Debra Bennett, is doing the same in Paynesville.
Toys can be dropped off and will be cleaned and fixed, said Bennett. "We accept any type of toy," she said. "Even if it has a missing part or something, we can try and fix those with other similar toys. We're looking for gently used toys."
Along with toys and books, Bennett and her family are collecting batteries.
"We will fill a toy with batteries and send an extra pack," she said. "We don't want to give a kid a toy they can't use right away."
Bennett said the first shipment of toys will go to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
"My sister was talking to people in Redwood who were doing a furniture and clothing drive for (the Rosebud Reservation Indians) and she said they really don't get many toys donated," Bennett said.
Bennett said she and her sister and possibly their mother are planning on driving out to the reservation in December to deliver the toys in person.
"We'll use our own money unless we get someone who's willing to donate gas cards or money," she said.
After delivering those toys, "we're hoping to get ideas of other children in need," she said. "If anybody or any agencies need used toys, we'd be happy to help them out."
Toys can be dropped off at either SS110 or IL 218 on campus. Off-campus, a box is located at the Marshall US Bank (Mercantile Building, 207 W. Main St.)
The Misfit Toys Workshop is not just for the holiday season, she said. "It will be year-round."
For further information: Callie.Bennett@smus.edu or 320-291-5976.