Since 2012, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been known to many as a day to give back to the community; and this Giving Tuesday, Toys for Tots Santa Barbara County is still accepting donations, preparing for the coming holidays.
Jose Alvarez, a volunteer with Toys for Tots, says he expects this year's donation count to be even bigger than the last.
"We are looking forward to at least 1,500 families to 2,000 families, so that is maybe 4,000 to 5,000 toys," Alvarez said.
He adds that in the past weeks, organizations, businesses and community leaders have stepped up to ensure that every child has a gift under the tree, and he says it is not too late for you to jump in on the action before the toy drive is over.
"We have over 36 locations. They can go to any fire department and there is a drop box there where they can just give a toy," Alvarez said.
Some locals we spoke to also reflected on how they are giving back this Tuesday before December.
"Maybe looking through the trees at the mall and finding a child that is needy, or checking in with our neighbors to make sure everyone was accounted for on Thanksgiving," said Danielle Chanley, Orcutt resident
"We always provide financial support through our church, St. Mark's-in-the-Valley, as well as through People Helping People, the Santa Barbara Foundation, a lot of different organizations in the county," added Polly Walker, Santa Ynez resident.
Alvarez says he knows firsthand what it is like to be part of a family in need during the holidays.
"Growing up, I was one of those families who was less fortunate, who was a recipient of Toys for Tots as a kid, so now I am giving back," he said.
Chanley tells KSBY she has raised her children with the same mentality.
"I want them to understand that it is not about what they are getting for the holidays, it is about making sure that everyone is taken care of," Chanley said.
You can find a list of toy drop-off locations in Santa Barbara County by clicking here: https://santa-maria-ca.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/donate-toys.aspx
If you are a parent interested in receiving presents for your children from Toys for Tots, you can find a registration link here: https://santa-maria-ca.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.aspx