(WJLA) - With just days to go until Christmas, many people are gathering last-minute gifts, but local volunteers are working hard to do the same for those who are less fortunate.
The annual Toys for Tots campaign brings holiday cheer to needy kids all across the country.
"The first year that we came we just saw that there was so much work to be done," said volunteer Lisa Capalbo. She got involved seven years ago and has stuck with it ever since.
The D.C. area is home to some of the wealthiest communities in the country, yet there's a segment of the population that can't experience the joy of the holidays.
This year, a warehouse in Sterling that coincidentally sits on Holiday Drive serves as a drop-off and pick-up location for gifts. Volunteers like Capalbo help sort and group the toys that come in and put packages together for children.
"They have a 1-year-old boy, a 3-year old-boy, and a 5-year-old boy, and then they gave suggestions of things they would like their kids to have," said Capalbo.
Forty-thousand square feet of donated space that once sat empty is now filled with bikes, games, books and stuffed animals.
"I think we're projected to have over 30,000 toys," said Loudoun County Toys for Tots coordinator Frank Holtz.
Community members both young and old, plus local sponsors like ABC 7 and NewsChannel 8, have helped the collections grow.
Donations and volunteers are still being welcomed by the Loudoun County branch. Organizers there anticipate the last day of distribution to be Saturday.
For more information on campaigns closer to your neighborhood, visit www.toysfortots.org.