Southland Gives Back: Central Arkansas
The trailer full of toys was unloaded at Toy Hill by members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. The mission of the nationwide USMCR Toys for Tots Program, which began in 1947, is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. “It was amazing how many toys our student-athletes collected for Toys for Tots,” Shock said. “There is nothing better than putting a smile on a child’s face at Christmas time, and we hope we were able to do that for many children this year. Toys for Tots is a great program that we were proud to partner with this holiday season.” Natalie Shock, UCA Associate Athletic Director and advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) was interviewed at Toy Hill by legendary Arkansas deejay Bob Robbins on The Wolf 105.1, highlighting the philanthropic efforts of UCA’s student-athletes. CONWAY, Ark. – More than 400 student-athletes from the University of Central Arkansas bought and collected toys during the month of November to donate to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program as part of the annual Southland Gives Back community service project. As part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the Southland Conference will profile a community service outing from each of our 13 member institutions each weekday from Dec. 6 to 22. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future. UCA’s football equipment truck delivered more than 2,000 individual toys to the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots “Toy Hill Weekend” collection event on Dec. 3 in Little Rock. UCA’s athletes used their own money to purchase toys to deliver to Toy Hill. The collection of toys included numerous bicycles, over 80 stuffed animals, more than 30 basketballs, footballs and playground balls, fire trucks and dump trucks, puzzles, Barbie dolls, tennis racquets, scooters, Hot Wheels cars, Frisbees, Nerf guns, kitchen play sets and more.