Published On: Dec 06 2012 11:51:11 AM ESTUpdated On: Dec 06 2012 04:21:44 PM EST
The community is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday at the WJXT studios on 4 Broadcast Place.
The annual party helps thousands of children 12 years of age and younger who might not otherwise have a merry Christmas. It will be held at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on Dec. 15.
Among the first donors was William White, who brought a whole box of toys. "All I've got to say is that it's for the kids," White said.
While hundreds of people dropped off generous donations throughout the morning, the employees of Pinnacle Central Industrial Equipment Sales and Rental needed a truck to bring their donation: 10 brand new bicycles, and a helmet to go with each one.
Santa dropped by the toy collection in the afternoon, but he didn't want all the boys and girls know he was in town early.
Channel 4's chief elf, Tracy Gaffney, assisted by Earl Bersamin and a dozen other WJXT employees, help collect and sort the toys.
Throughout the year, money is donated by local companies and individuals to help the Children's Christmas Party of Jacksonville buy toys in bulk. The toys donated Thursday will make sure there are enough toys for all the children who attend the party.
By afternoon, 20 bicycles had been donated to the party.
For those that can't make it on Thursday, toys for the party will continue to be collected through Dec. 13 at Nimnicht Buick GMC on Philips Highway near Interstate 295.