SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — This year’s Toys for Tots drive has been chugging along since Nov. 1, and a partnership with the titular organization, the U.S. Marine Corps and San Angelo’s own Sunset Eye Care has helped facilitate that.

Sunset Eye Care’s relationship with Toys for Tots goes back years, with a staff member whose life was touched for the better by the toy-giving intiative seeking to give back to the community.

“We have a staff member who, years ago, when she was having a hard time, used Toys for Tots to help with her kids at Christmas time,” Dr. Douglas Holle, resident optometrist at Sunset Eye Care, said. “She was so touched by that that she was really motivated for this cause, and we were looking for something to do to give back to the community.”

The location has traditionally just kept a donation box in the store for anyone wanting to drop off a present at. This year, however, the staff behind the store are putting in extra effort through public outreach in the hopes that they can make a greater impact for Toys for Tots’ cause.

“We’ve done the box in our reception area for years, but this is the first time that we’ve done an actual drive where we reach out to the community, try to really promote it and try to make more of a splash,” Holle said.

The official toy drive will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, and feature festive music, treats and a visit from some U.S. Marines as well as Santa Claus himself.

“Parents can bring their kids, have them sit on Santa’s lap, tell him what they want for Christmas, they can take pictures, the whole bit,” Holle said. “They can also take pictures with the Marines. Should be fun!”

The donation window isn’t limited to just the day of the drive, though. Donations of new toys and money will still be accepted until Friday, Dec. 8. All donations should be taken to Sunset Eye Care, located at 4241 Southwest Blvd., Suite 108.

“We’d be thrilled to have you come out, see the Marines and give back a little bit to help make Christmas special for kids in need,” Holle said.

Image courtesy of Sunset Eye Care.