LAKE CHARLES, La. – As part of the Southland Gives Back initiative, McNeese athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partnered with Toys 4 Tots throughout the holiday season. The Cowboys’ athletic department asked fans, boosters, students and employees to donate toys beginning in November. McNeese student-athletes also organized a toy drive with a local elementary school, where gifts were picked up for distribution to the local Toys 4 Tots organization.After two months of collecting toys, a drop date was coordinated on Dec. 6 for the Lake Charles Toys 4 Tots chapter. The Pokes’ student-athletes were also able to interact with local elementary school students during the toy drive.”McNeese Athletics is proud to partner with Toys for Tots drive,” said McNeese SAAC coordinator Alex Haley. “Providing gifts to needy children during the holiday season is a great way for our student-athletes to give back to the community.”Athletes from all 16 sports were involved and collaborated to donate more than 200 items for the Toys for Tots organization. Toys for Tots began in 1947 and has since become an avenue for raising funds and purchasing toys. The organization currently distributes 18 million toys to seven million less fortunate children annually.As part of the “Southland Gives Back” initiative, the Southland Conference will profile a community service outing from each of our 13 member institutions this holiday season.