Toys for Tots Marathon kicks off holiday giving

FRESNO, Calif.

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ABC30 has teamed up with the US Marine Corps and the United Way of Fresno County to collect toys for children who might otherwise go without.

In the South Valley, you can bring a new, unwrapped toy by the Nissan of Visalia showroom. In the North Valley, stop by the Hobby Lobby in Merced to make your donation. And you can also make donations at River Park shopping center in North Fresno this weekend.

You can find a complete list of drop off locations here

The holiday gift giving started way before the sun even came up here in the Valley. Dozens of construction crews woke up early and donated toys to the Toys For Tots Marathon drive.

"It's all for the kids. And we know that this year's going to be a tough year for everybody. And so we really wanted to make a push this year just to get everybody going," said Dave Jones with Agcee Construction.

As night turned into day -- people drove to the River Park Shopping Center in North Fresno to drop off toys -- and money.

Susan Disney of Fresno did both and says the kids make it all worth it. "You see the kids that don't have anything and those that are more fortunate need to dig deep in their pockets and help these kids out."

Former Marines are also lending a helping hand. Michael Herbert suffered life threatening injuries during a construction accident after four years in the military. While in the intensive care unit, the Toys For Tots program provided him a bike for his daughter for Christmas in the mid 1990's. Every year since then, he's donated a bike to this toy drive.

"It meant a lot. My daughter, she remembers it every year. She calls me and says, did you give the bike this year. And sometimes we come down here together with the girls bicycle. And it's just one of those things, there's 120,000 kids that Toys for Tots are going to help this year and I think that's a big deal."

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