'Toys For Tots' Campaign Begins - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

'Toys For Tots' Campaign Begins

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The goal is simple: donate as many toys as possible, to less-fortunate children, by Christmas.

Thursday is the kick-off to this year's Toys For Tots campaign and we're already seeing a lot of support.

People are donating things like board games, trucks and dolls, hoping to make Christmas that much brighter for those in need.

Since 1947, the Marine Corps has been collecting Christmas toys for less-fortunate kids.

The program is now in more than 700 communities in all 50 states.

"The Marine Corps is not just about going out and fighting wars'" Sergeant Douglas Jones said. "We're also about helping out our country and communities, as well."

That's why Jones says it's so important for the Marines to have a presence at places like Toys R Us.

It reminds people that they can make a difference in the lives of so many children.

"A lot of people come in," Jones said. "They see the uniforms, they say 'hi' and then they remember and they're very accommodating. We've gotten a lot of donations so far."

Those donations have been pouring in, even though this is just the first day, with 55 days left until Christmas.

"Never too early," Bergen Smith said. "I'm usually done with my Christmas shopping by now."

Last year, 35,000 toys were donated to more than 8,200 kids around Washoe County.

Smith is just one person who donated toys, today,and for a pretty simple reason.

"Every kid deserves Christmas and it gives you a better feeling about Christmas, knowing that you're helping and it's kind of the true meaning of Christmas," Smith said.

But she also says more people need to be active in this campaign.

"Unfortunately, I think there's not enough effort," Smith said. "I think more people could help and do more."

While this is just the beginning of the giving season, Jones has seen first-hand, the joy it brings to families when they get these gifts.

"It's just a wonderful feeling to see the parents and knowing that their kids are going to wake up Christmas morning with at least one gift that they wouldn't have had otherwise," Jones said.

The Toys For Tots kick-off continues tomorrow from 8am to 5pm at the Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations.

They're looking for gifts that are new and in some kind of package.

They don't want things like stuffed animals that can collect dust and allergens that could affect the kids' health.

For more information on how to can help out, go to http://bit.ly/SWUuZZ

Written by Paul Nelson
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