NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Marines were at the News 8 studios Monday night picking up toys from our annual Gr8 Holiday Give toy donation event benefiting Toys for Tots.

Some of the toys were donated my viewers straight to News 8 studios, while others were dropped off at events, like the one held over the weekend at Connecticut Post Mall in Milford.

Sargent Ronald Cantara, who coordinates Toys for Tots collection for New Haven and Middlesex counties, told News 8 that the organization donating toys to children-in-need over the holiday season began in 1947 by the wife of a Major Bill Hendrix.

According to Sargent Cantara, they have collected over 30,000 toys so far this year.

Toys for Tots works when members of the community drop new, unwrapped toys in collection boxes positioned in local businesses across the state. Coordinators pick up these toys and store them in central warehouses where the toys are sorted by age and gender.

At Christmas, Coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups, and other local community agencies, distribute the toys to the less fortunate children of the community.

Over the years, Marines have established close working relationships with social welfare agencies, churches and other local community agencies which are well-qualified to identify the needy children in the community and play important roles in the distribution of the toys.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event so successful.