Toys For Tots donates toys to 7,000 families

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Groups came together Saturday to help 7,000 families make sure they have gifts under their Christmas trees this year.

Toys went to families in need across the metro this holiday season, making sure children won’t go without a present under their Christmas tree.

"This is one of the most rewarding things that we can do as a community relations piece. We’re the war fighters. Back home, we take care of our citizens another way. And that’s by bringing the joy of Christmas, the joy of the holidays to those who are a little bit less fortunate,” said Maj. Mike Schroeder U.S. Marines commanding officer.

U. S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Program held it’s annual toy giveaway at the Four Hills Village Shopping Center in Albuquerque.

All of the toys were sorted and then distributed to families waiting in the parking lot.

"We’ve spent months putting this together getting donations from the public, businesses, money donations,” said Paul Caputo Assistant program coordinator.

Some of the 1,300 families that registered with the city’s Family & Community Services Division picked up toys Friday and Saturday.

They’ve distributed toys for more than 2,200 children over the two days. But this year Toys For Tots will help 7,000 families and hand out 15,000 toys in the metro.

"The kids don’t even know it’s us because we give the toys to the parents and the parents make the kids a Christmas. And it’s now about the toy. It tells that kid, no matter how tough things are, somebody believes in you and it builds better Americans, it builds better citizens, the politics, the prejudice, all the bad things that go on in society go away and people join together to support each other," said Caputo.

It’s not too late to donate a toy to Toys For Tots this holiday season, visit the Toys for Tots website for registration details and more.