Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich and Marines during the 2010 Toys for Tots campaign

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich and Marines during the 2010 Toys for Tots campaign in which more than 2,000 gifts were collected at the university for needy children.

For the 17th consecutive year, the United States Sports Academy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation are teaming up to help underprivileged children in Mobile and Baldwin Counties enjoy a memorable Christmas.

Long considered the region’s largest collection center 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 through Dec. 10 during the university’s regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week. The Academy is located at One Academy Drive, Daphne, Ala., 36526.

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.

“It is my understanding that there are more children in need this year than ever before, given the nation’s economy,” said Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. “If you can do so, please give generously this year and make it a memorable Christmas for a child.”

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

Please contact the Academy’s Matthew Cope or Bob Kline at 251-626-3303, if you have any questions on this project.