The United States Sports Academy is serving as a collection center for Toys for Tots for the 18th year.

Long considered one of South Alabama’s largest collection centers for the Toys for Tots program, local residents, organizations, companies and schools may drop off their new, unwrapped toys at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus to help assist those who need it most this time of year.

Donations will be accepted from Friday, Nov. 1 through Friday, Dec. 13 during the university’s regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The Academy is located at One Academy Drive, Daphne, Ala., 36526, which is off of U.S. Highway 98 just south of Interstate 10.

“The Toys for Tots program is, in fact, one of the best things the Academy has done with the community, and that is really what it is all about,” Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich said.

The primary goal of the Toys for Tots program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate children that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens. Since the inception of Toys for Tots, more than 400 million toys have been distributed to more than 188 million needy children.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to children. The following year, the Marine Corps Reserve adopted the concept and made it a national endeavor.

If you do not live in Baldwin or Mobile Counties, please visit the Toys for Tots website at to find a drop location in your area or to make a donation online.

Please contact the Academy’s Matthew Cope, Director of Operations, at 251-626-3303, if you have any questions about this project.