'Toys for Tots' in need of donations

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You can make Christmas happen for thousands of kids across the Valley. The Toys for Tots toy drive is underway and the big Marathon Weekend is here!

For 50,000 kids in Fresno County, a gift from Toys for Tots might be the only thing they get from Santa this year.

"They don't have a lot," said Toys for Toys Coordinator Jessica Montano. "They get something that's brand new, that's their own, that really does put a smile on their face."

Chairman Mike Aguilar knows the feeling all too well and still remembers when he received a Christmas gift from the drive over 50 years ago.

"We felt that Christmas was going to be a no show from Santa Claus but it happened," said Aguilar. "I remember what I received, a basketball. For me, it was a big gift."

But Toys for Tots needs your help to continue the tradition. The highest demand is for boys and girls ages 8 to 12.

"They're in that transition, that 'tween' years," continued Montano.

It's for this group, Toys for Tots says they don't have nearly enough donations.

If you want to get involved and be a secret Santa to an older child, organizers suggest items like board games, sports equipment, and craft packages. An item you may not think of that's always needed is batteries.

"I know the feeling of receiving a toy," said Aguilar. "When I see that my heart just is real warm, it's a good feeling."

You can drop off your donations at Marathon Weekend. It kicks off Friday at 5 a.m. at River Park Shopping Center and wraps up Sunday at 5 p.m. For more details on how to donate visit the Toys for Tots website.
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