Updated: 12/15/2013 7:12 PM
Created: 12/15/2013 7:03 PM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste
Hundreds of children got their Christmas gifts early on Sunday.
The St. Paul Fire Department and U.S. Marines handed out toys as part of a Toys for Tots program.
This is the fourth year the Saint Paul Fire Foundation has participated in this program. They helped more than 500 needy children from 220 families.
"These are all local families from the St. Paul area so we see some of them on some of our calls and it's just nice to be able to help the local kids out," said Captain Steve Shapira.
They have doubled the number of children and families helped since the beginning. When they started the program they only had enough resources for 100 families and 250 children.
The Toys for Tots program was first created by the Marine Corps.