Tag Archives: Toys for Tots

Nearly 2,000 Children Benefit in Toy Distribution at Tennessee State University

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.

On Saturday, nearly 1,000 parents walked away with at least two toys each for their children during the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve Toys for Tots distribution on the TSU main campus. Organizers said nearly 2,000 children were served – on an average of two kids per parent.

Thousands of toys of different sizes and shapes, for boys and girls up to age 12, were collected and distributed. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Volunteers, including TSU students, staff, alumni, and representatives from area charitable organizations and churches, helped with the distribution in Kean Hall.

This was the result of a partnership between TSU and the Marine  Corp Reserve in its annual toy distribution program. Prior to Saturday, TSU served as the official drop-off center for donated toys.

Alexandra Wescott, a junior child development major from Akron, Ohio, and Dwight-Christopher Terry, a senior electrical engineering major from Memphis, Tennessee, were among volunteers helping parents to gather and secure toys for their children.

“This was just a humbling experience for me,” said Wescott, her first volunteer work outside her Akron hometown. “It feels great and very fulfilling to do something that brings so much joy to children and it is just nice to be involved with my school in such a wonderful exercise.”

Volunteers at the Toys for Tots distribution included TSU students, staff, alumni and representatives from charitable and church organizations. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

For Terry, volunteering in the community is not new. His Generation of Educated Men, a student community service group, which he heads as president, has been involved in food, clothing and other drives in the area. The group was also involved with bringing the TSU-Marine Corp partnership to fruition, along with Simply United, a non-profit that coordinates the pickup of donated toys from Toys for Tots.

“I am full of joy and feel a big relief that we are finally able to give out the toys to the community because it took so much energy to put it together, as far as donation, volunteers and so forth,” Terry said. “Although we are a student organization, the TSU administration, especially (associate dean) Dr. William Hytche, took us very seriously when the discussion started to bring the Toys for Tots program on campus.”

Associate Dean, Dr. William Hytche, coordinator of the Toys for Tots program for TSU, speaks to a News Channel 2 reporter. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

As part of the partnership with the Marine Corp – the first with a university in the Nashville, Davidson County area – TSU received unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 through December 14.

“This has been quite a rewarding experience for our students, staff and all who volunteered in this great effort,” associate dean Hytche said. “The Tennessee State University family is so excited to partner with the Marine Corp and Simply United, through its local representative, Ms. Benetta M. Sears and her volunteers. We are just so thankful.”

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 has partnered 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 information on Toys for Tots at TSU, call Dr. William Hytche at 615-963-5069.

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Tennessee State University
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About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Joins Toys For Tots Campaign In Partnership With U.S. Marine Corp

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State 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.

The Floyd-Payne Campus Center, Facilities Management Operations Building, and Parking Services Office in Hankal Hall will serve as the drop-off locations from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day.

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.