The Marines and Alaska Airlines are teaming up to bring Christmas to villages around the state.

The first shipment of gifts from the Marines’ Toys for Tots program arrived at the Alaska Airlines cargo hangar on Thursday.

Over the past two months, they’ve collected about 4,000 toys that will go to 20 communities.

"To be involved personally, brings a joy to my heart, knowing a child will have a toy and experience a little bit of Christmas magic," said Captain Tom Sharkey, a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

The presents are flown into hubs like Kotzebue and Nome then delivered by snow machine to smaller villages like Ambler, Noorvik and Buckland.

“No one else is going to be able to experience that,” said coordinator Luis Gonzalez, who helped deliver presents last year. “To see that firsthand, it really paints a picture of why we do this and how the Alaska community comes together to help out its citizens. It’s amazing.”

The toys will be distributed the beginning of December.

The Marines are still collecting presents for kids around Anchorage for the Neighborhood GIFT program. They’re especially in need of gifts for boys and girls ages 12 to 14.

Click here for a list of drop off locations.

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