There are many holiday toy drives underway around the region, and at least one effort is explicitly targeted to benefit the children of America's servicemen and women.
Operation Homefront provides programs and services to help low-income military families. This holiday season, the non-profit is collecting new toys from more than 60 locations around the region, which will end up under the Christmas trees of many kids in military families.
"Operation Homefront serves low and mid-grade ranks, E1 through E6. That means they earn a base wage of $18,000 and $28,000 a year," says Cyndi Lucas, head of community outreach. "So in this area, you can imagine, that doesn't go very far."
At a toy sorting facility in Sterling Virginia, volunteers are dividing toy into groups by gender and age even grouping types of toys.
Volunteer Tina Flores served in the military. She says she's seen what a difference these toys can make for children of military families at Christmastime.
"I can imagine the looks on their faces, because some of those kids don't get very much for Christmas and then their parents are sometimes deployed at Christmas," Flores says. "There's so many things that they deal with that people don't have any concept of."
Volunteers are welcome, and toys and cash donations are always in need. For more information on how to help, visit OperationHomefront.net.