Last Saturday’s football game marked the beginning of this years ‘Toys for Tots’ donation hosted by the Texas A&M-Kingsville athletic department which generates gifts for less fortunate youth around the Kingsville community.
An eight year collaboration between the Javelina Youth Clinic, the Venado District of the South Texas Council-Boys Scouts, and The Texas A&M-Kingsville athletic department brought about events such as a youth football game and the fifth Annual Boy Scout Camp-out as part of Community Appreciation Night.
Benefiting from this Appreciation Night was the ‘Toys for Tots’ donation which saw an overall success of over 150 toys donated and brought this years total close to the over 200 toys totaled in 2010.
The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program began by efforts of Major Bill Hendricks in Los Angeles, California totaling 5,000 toys collected before Christmas 1947.
The Texas A&M-Kingsville athletic department and U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program join a goal of delivering a new toy at Christmas and a message of hope to less fortunate youth.
After being asked: How do you feel an event like this helps the relationship between your Athletic department and the Kingsville community?
Sports Information Director Shane Meling said, “Very beneficial for both the athletic department and the Kingsville community. We’re able to help them because we have a number of events where you have people from the community coming in and so they can see that they’re collecting for Toys for Tots, but also I feel that Toys for Tots does a good job in the community of letting people know what they are doing and I’ve thought for so many years people know around Christmas time and Thanksgiving that their collecting. So I think it’s very beneficial, it’s a good thing to be involved with on both sides.”
With the economic climate as it stands how do you personally feel about donation driven events such as Toys for Tots and the children they affect?
Director of Athletic Kenneth Oliver said, “This is very good project for the city of Kingsville.”
Shane Meling said, “I don’t know, I always personally feel that people will give no matter what. So if they really believe in something their gonna give to that; they’ll make it part of their budget. So I don’t know if that really affects it as much, and I’ve actually heard that people give more when the economic climate isn’t as good.”
As information from the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation webpage states, “The national economy remained in the spotlight for much of the year the American public has steadfastly refused to let Toys for Tots fail…Upon conclusion of the 2010 campaign, more than 16.7 million toys had been distributed to nearly 7.2 million children.”
Any Javelinas fan can find drop-off locations on and off campus through the end of December at McCulley Hall and at all the basketball games and off campus at the Stop-n-Lube on the corner of 14th street and Armstrong.
By: Joel Looper