The Spirit of Giving

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The toys filled the boxes so quickly that the UCF marketing department had to begin piling the gifts on nearby tables to keep up.

UCF fans donated unwrapped toys at the UCF women's basketball game on Dec. 10 and the men's basketball game on Dec. 12. Adding in the contributions from the UCF Student Government Association, the total number of toys collected read 771.

Senior Aliyah Gregory, who organized the toy drive to benefit The Spring of Tampa - a domestic violence shelter, could hardly believe the number.

"I think it's really heartwarming for me that we were able to do so much for so many people," Gregory said.

What began as a way for Gregory and her family to honor the memory of her aunt, quickly grew into a way for her UCF family to help raise awareness.

"I can tell that (Aliyah) was really excited that she got all of those toys and that people are listening to her cause," head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said.

The first go-round saw around 130 toys. Last season, with the help of the men's team and SGA, that number more than tripled to 476.

This year, fans contributed more than ever.

"We couldn't have done it without (Knight Nation)," Gregory said. "Thank you for supporting a great cause and being able to help someone else have a great Christmas."