NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As the holiday season takes hold, Tennessee State University is making sure children in the area have something to cheer about.
The university is partnering with the United States Marines Corp Reserve in its Toys for Tots program this year.
The university will serve as the official drop-off and distribution center for donated toys. Officials say TSU was selected because of adequate facilities, and its accessibility to the community.
As part of the partnership – the first with a university in the Nashville, Davidson County area – TSU will receive unwrapped toys on its main campus for children up to age 12 now through December 14.
Distribution will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15, in Kean Hall, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
More than 1,000 area children are expected to benefit from this year’s collection.
Simply United Together, a nonprofit that coordinates the pickup of donated toys from Toys for Tots, will also work with TSU and the Marine Corp to redistribute the donated items within the area.
“The Tennessee State University family is so excited to partner with the Marine Corp to support the Toys for Tots initiative that brings joy to so many children during the holiday season,” said Dr. William Hytche, associate dean for students and the TSU coordinator for Toys for Tots.
He said the partnership is an opportunity for recruitment and community engagement.
“TSU is a place that cares for the community and this is one way to let the community know that TSU is here for them. We see this as the beginning of a relationship that we hope to continue for a long time,” Hytche said.
Sgt. C. J. Bowling, Marine Corp training chief, is the coordinator for Toys for Tots. He said other institutions in the area have helped in the past with the toy drive, but TSU is the first university the Marine Corp is partnering with in its distribution effort.
“I like the opportunities that TSU offers,” Bowling said. “TSU was selected because it has the facilities to handle our traffic flow both for toy donation and access to people to be served. Moreover, people at TSU have been so gracious. From the associate dean, to the people in your facilities management and the Air Force unit, they have done everything we have wanted and requested.”
For more details on drop-off and distribution of toys at TSU, call Dr. William Hytche at 615-963-5069.