SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The marines’ Toys For Tots program kicked off the holiday season with its annual tradition.

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“It’s all about the kids,” said Chuck Peterson, Modified Motorcycle Association.

It’s those five words that sum up the Toys For Tots drive every year.

“The marines have been doing it since 1947,” said Peterson.

Thousands of needy children are getting gifts at a time when their families can’t afford them.

“I have a great time. The kids love it; it’s great,” said Chet Stokes, who was dressed as Santa Clause.

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The Modified Motorcycle Association was collecting toys Sunday and delivering them to the marines at the Capitol. Some of the people delivering were once on the receiving end.

“I remember in the 40s, Toys For Tots and the marines came by our house and I got a little gun that shots sparks when you pulled the trigger,” said Peterson.

It’s a close connection to the families they now serve.

“It makes me feel good to see the kids who probably wouldn’t have anything for Christmas if it wasn’t for this,” said Peterson.

They are happy kids and happy volunteers who look forward to this every December.

“It feels good. My heart is out of my chest. It feels good; it brings tears to my eyes. It’s great,” said volunteer Joy Roberts.

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The Modified Motorcycle Association is the foundation’s second largest toy contributor.