DAPHNE, Ala.— Thank you for the overwhelming generosity during this year’s 19th Annual Toys For Tots collection drive at the United States Sports Academy! Over 5,000 toys were collected and will be distributed throughout Baldwin County.

Long considered one of South Alabama’s largest collection centers, the United States Sports Academy, in coordination with the Jesse Andrews Jr. Detachment, Marine Corps League, served as a collection center for 2014 Toys for Tots program.

Local residents, organizations, companies and schools dropped off their toy donation at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus to help assist those who need it most this time of year. The Marine Corps League spent a day at the Daphne Target store and worked with the store employees and customers to make this the largest collection in the 19 year history. A special thanks goes to Chik-fil-A® for supplying food to the Marine volunteers while they spent the day collecting toy donations at Target. Adding to the community’s giving spirit, the Daphne Cub Scout Pack 271 has opted to give toys to Toys For Tots this year as opposed to doing a gift exchange.

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 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, Director of Operations, at 251-626-3303, if you have any questions about this project.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.