Area residents can help make the holidays a little bit nicer for area children in need by participating in Southwest Missouri State University-West Plains' Toys for Tots collection Nov. 13.
Large collection bins will be placed at the West Plains Civic Center that day for area residents to drop off their toys, SMSU-WP Student Life and Development Coordinator Jeremy Robinett said. This is the same day the Lady Grizzlies will be competing in the Region 16 Volleyball Championship Tournament and the Grizzlies will be hosts of a basketball contest against Missouri Baptist College's junior varsity squad at 7 p.m.
"We're asking everyone who comes to the games and matches on Nov. 13 to bring a toy," Robinett said. "Toys collected will then be donated to local service agencies, churches and hospitals."
Grizzly Basketball Head Coach Brian Ostermann is pleased that a collection is being taken during the athletics events on Nov. 13. "Toys for Tots is a very worthwhile project. We hope everyone who comes to the game will participate. By doing so, we are putting a smile on a child's face, and that says it all," he said.
Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Trish Kissiar-Knight agreed. "Toys for Tots is such a great thing to take part in. It is nice to know that you can help put a smile on a child's face," she said.
The Nov. 13 collection is part of the university's annual toy drive, which this year runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 10. People who will not be attending the games on Nov. 13 but would like to participate in the drive can drop off their toys at the Student Life and Development Office in Putnam Student Center on Jefferson Avenue, Robinett said.
For more information about the collection, contact the SMSU-WP Student Life and Development Office at 417-255-7233.