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Carbondale firefighters and Marines collect Toys for Tots

CARBONDALE, IL (Heartland News at 9) -

Firefighters in Carbondale teamed up with Marines to help Southern Illinois families have a Merry Christmas.

For the third year, the fire department is collecting presents for the Toys for Tots Foundation.

They're asking for new, unwrapped toys for kids six months to 13 years old.

Carbondale Fire Chief Ted Lomax said it's all about making Christmas better for area kids.

"It really makes it all worth it when you see their faces light up and they know they are going to get something for Christmas," Lomax said. "For a lot of kids this will be all they do get. So this is really an awesome project. This is a really good activity for us to be involved with it."

If you'd like to help, you can donate at the fire departments in Carbondale or Benton and at the Black Diamond Harley dealer in Marion.

Last year, the Toy Drive helped get more than 10,000 gifts to 3,000 children in five southern Illinois counties.

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