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9 Family Connection’s Santa Saturday collects hundreds of toys; How you can still help

ORLANDO, Fla. — Channel 9 is helping put a dent in the need for donations for Toys for Tots.

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Our 9 Family Connection’s “Santa Saturday” had volunteers out at our station downtown filling up boxes with toys.

“Mrs. Claus and I have a goal to make sure every child in Central Florida wakes up on Christmas morning and experiences the joy of Christmas,” Santa Claus himself, said.

Community members spent the day dropping off new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.

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For some like Duane Zoller, being a part of this event has become a holiday tradition. He spends the year hand making wooden toys to donate.

“This has been a project for about 20 years now,” Zoller said. “I made 300 of them this year.”

For others like Robin Paradise, she jumped into action Saturday morning when she heard there was an unfilled need.

“They were saying how short it was on your news program and I was like, I have to do more,” Paradise said. “These kids need it.”

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The donations collected today will help provide toys for thousands of kids across Central Florida.

There are still some age groups in need.

“Right now, we’re kind of struggling from 6 to 7 and 11 to 13,” Daniel Rosado, the Marines Box Dropoff Manager for Toys for Tots, said. “Every other age we’ve been hitting our mark. That one we could use a lot more influx of donations.”

Donations that will bring smiles to so many Christmas morning.

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“It’s a joy to do it,” Zoller said. “I know where it’s going, and I’ve seen the smile on kids’ faces.”

If you weren’t able to make it to Santa Saturday, we will be collecting toys at the WFV Channel 9 studio until Dec. 17.

Click here to learn how to donate.

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