Toys for Tots marathon weekend kicks off this weekend at River Park

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the season of giving and the Marine Corps League is reminding us that one small donation can mean the world to a child in need.

"In their eyes, you can see the big thank you and the big smiles-- it's heartwarming," said Bernie Velez, Marine Corps League.

"I know the feeling of getting a toy when you don't have anything," said Mike Aguilar, Marine Corps League.

Fifty-five years later Aguilar still remembers Marines coming to his doorstep on Christmas Eve with present for him and his siblings.

"I can even tell you what I got-- I got a basketball and a football."

Aguilar said it is why he became a Marine and why he continues to work with Toys for Tots.

"We have an opportunity to go give toys and you see that joy in their face."

Currently, the biggest need is for baby boys and girls newborn to three and 8 to 12-year-olds

Since the Toys for Tots drive started back in August more than 9,000 new and unwrapped toys have come into the warehouse, but that's still a long way from their goal.

"This year we have 40,323 children that have asked us for a toy this Christmas. So that's our mission this year," said Virginia Cardinal, Toys for Tots Fresno County.

Toys for Tots Fresno County works with close to 200 organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army, various churches, and a number of schools. But most schools leave for winter break soon.

"Realistically I need to get all the schools their toys by December 14th so they can hand them out," said Cardinal.

The Toys for Tots Marathon runs this weekend. Drop off a new and unwrapped toy, cash or check at the River Park shopping center.
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