DAPHNE, Ala.— During this year’s 19th Annual Toys For Tots collection drive at the United States Sports Academy, more than 5,000 toys were collected for distribution 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. Toys were collected through Dec. 11.

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.

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.