03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Shaq Teams With Toys For Tots To Bring Holiday Cheer

Shaq-A-Claus is coming to town. That's right, NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal is teaming up with Toys R Us as the spokesman of the annual Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign. The "Join Shaq, Give Back" effort ties with Toys for Tots' mission to gather and distribute holiday gifts to millions of needy children across America, so that they may have hope despite the tight economy.

Given that even more children are living in poverty each day, the toy drive is particularly significant this year. O'Neal is not a newcomer to the role of Santa, as he's visited Toys R Us each year for nearly two decades to shop for youth programs, and is encouraging consumers to help the 62-year-old Toys for Tots program continue to spread holiday cheer.

New, unwrapped toys will be collected at stores through December 6, at Toys R Us and Babies R S locations nationwide. Making it truly a local effort, collected toys will be handed out in the communities where they've been donated. Donations are also welcome in stores and online here.

Toys R Us has collected more than 1.4 million toys and raised more than $16.2 million since partnering with Toys for Tots. Over $2,148 dollars has been raised from just the first day of the campaign.