Sparky's Toy Drive has been a holiday staple in Windsor-Essex for 29 years and once again organizers are looking to the region's generosity to ensure this year's campaign is a huge success.

Firefighter Bob Bailey says the drive is all about giving back to the community. On distribution day it's clear how important these gifts are.

“On pickup day when they walk in, they have this smile on their face like they get their toys and you see the relief,” says Bailey.

The program is put on by the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association, along with sponsor CTV Windsor and partners AM800 and Canadian Tire. Last year's drive alone delivered toys to nearly 1,400 families.

"Their children are going to wake up Christmas morning and have toys underneath their tree,” says Bailey. “No one is going home empty-handed in this community."

New, unopened toys and cash donations can be dropped off at any Windsor Fire Station and six Canadian Tire locations in the region between now and Dec. 23.

Organizers say gifts for older children and teens are especially needed.

Registration was Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Andrews Church on the corner of Park Street West and Victoria Avenue in downtown Windsor.