Toys for Tots kick off

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The annual Toys for Tots drive kicked off Thursday.

More than 30,000 Central Florida children received gifts from the program in 2011.

Marines were out in Altamonte Springs as the campaigned kicked off.

The Toys for Tots Foundation said it hopes donations start earlier than they have in the past, instead of people waiting for the final days.

"We make it every year and hopefully we make it this year as well," said Sgt. Bernardo Abertrani of Toys for Tots.

In 2011, Channel 9, along with the Toys for Tots Foundation, helped collect and distribute 33,000 toys to the community.

It meant 3,000 more kids were able to celebrate a holiday compared to 2010.

"It's a necessity for them to help them get through a rough year and just enjoy this part of childhood of their life," said Abertrani.

For more information including how to sign up for help, as well as how to volunteer or donate, click here.