Thousands of children across Fresno County receive Christmas presents thanks to Toys for Tots

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Toys for Tots made sure over 40,000 kids will get a Christmas present this year.

The Fresno County organization was able to fill every wish list thanks to a last-minute surge of donations. Every local family who signed up for Toys for Tots received a Christmas present this year.

The organization had so many toys that even the kids on waiting lists were able to pick up a gift Friday, and the holidays were made a little brighter for thousands of kids.

Organizers with Toys for Tots were happy to spend the day bringing some holiday cheer to families on a waiting list.

"Today, we're expecting 1,681 children to come through and get a toy," Virginia Cardinal with Toys for Tots said.

This is in addition to the over 40,000 toys that were already handed out to local families earlier this season

"Overall, the parents are happy they have gifts for their children this year," Cardinal said. "And we're relieved. It's fun to be here. It kind of makes it all worthwhile."

Joann Castillo was thankful the waiting list opened up for her family, her three children each went home with smiles after receiving a toy Friday.

"It means a lot. We were on a waiting list," she said. "We didn't think the kids were going to get anything, then I got an e-mail and then it was, 'Yes, we got to go we got to get ready. Let's go.'"

Seeing a child's face light up and helping fill that wish list is what Toys for Tots is all about.

"This year, with my husband only working part time and me working seasonal and my season hasn't started yet, really tough," Castillo said. "Having this here, having been able to have a toy for the kids is special because, without this, it would be very difficult to get them anything."

By all accounts, the annual Toys for Tots was another big success in 2016.

"It's a wonderful feeling now," Cardinal said. "I'm ready to start my Christmas now. I can focus on my family and kids knowing we reached everyone we possibly could in Fresno County."
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