Making a Difference: SWAC and MEAC initiate inaugural “Toy Drive Challenge”

From the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference:

NORFOLK, Va., October 28, 2021 – Today, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) launched their first-ever “Toy Drive Challenge,” in partnership with Toys for Tots. Each conference’s member institutions are hosting a toy drive on their campus and serving as drop sites for children’s toy donations for the holidays. The toy drives will run through Dec. 1, 2021.
Reinforcing the historic rivalry between the two conferences, the MEAC and SWAC institution that collects the most toy donations will receive a block of free tickets for their students to attend the Cricket Celebration Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Dubbed the “HBCU National Championship” game, the Cricket Celebration Bowl match-up annually features the MEAC and SWAC’s respective champions. All toys collected by the schools will be donated to their local Toys for Tots chapter ahead of the holiday season.
As we prepare for another memorable Cricket Celebration Bowl, we are thrilled to launch our inaugural Toy Drive Challenge in partnership with the SWAC,” MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas said. “Providing our member institutions, students and fans an outlet for community-driven initiatives that will positively impact the lives of our youth and their parents is an important part of our mission. Given Toys for Tots’ remarkable history, the Toy Drive Challenge will brighten the holidays for kids in our local markets and foster school spirit ahead of the highly anticipated Cricket Celebration Bowl.”
“The Southwestern Athletic Conference is extremely excited to partner with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Toys for Tots this holiday season,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “This is obviously a very worthy cause and one that we truly feel will benefit all parties involved. We look forward to spreading some much-needed cheer and joy this holiday season as this initiative will undoubtedly go a long way towards fulfilling that goal.”
Current students, alumni, and community members are invited to participate and donate new toys suited for kids aged 0-14. Information about toy donation locations at each of the MEAC and SWAC schools will be posted on their respective athletics websites and social media channels. The Toy Drive Challenge serves as an extension to the Cricket Celebration Bowl’s Celebration of Service community initiative, which this year features a toy drive led by the National Pan-Hellenic Council to benefit kids in the Atlanta area.
About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is in its 51st year of intercollegiate competition with the 2021-22 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of eight outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University.
About the SWAC  
The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is considered one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country and currently ranks among the elite in the nation in terms of HBCU alumni playing with professional sports teams. Current championship competition offered by the league includes competition for men in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field and Tennis. Women’s competition is offered in the sports of Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis and Volleyball
About Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots, a 74-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness, and hope to less fortunate children during each Christmas holiday season. The toys, books, and other gifts collected and distributed by our Marines and volunteers during the Christmas season offer these children recognition, confidence, and a positive memory for a lifetime. Toys for Tots also provides support year-round to less fortunate families experiencing challenges and exceptional circumstances, thus sending a message of hope beyond the holiday season. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7.4 million less fortunate children in over 800 communities nationwide. Since 1947, over 272 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. For more information, please visit

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