U.S. Marines had some heavy lifting to do at the Hanford vitrification plant Thursday.
They loaded trucks with the largest donation that Toys for Tots has received this year from a single employer in the Tri-City area.
The vit plant's 3,400 employees, Bechtel National and its subcontractor URS collected more than 3,500 toys and nearly $8,000 for Toys for Tots, including 200 bicycles.
Toys for Tots had been worried just a week ago about how it would meet demand for toys for needy children this year.
A flood of donations over the last weekend and the vit plant donation have improved the prospects for providing a merry Christmas for all of those children.
"Toys for Tots identified that there was a significant need for toys this year, and it became very important that we step up," said Dave Leeth, vit plant manager of construction, in a statement.
He kept his promise Thursday to dress up as Santa if the vit plant met a goal set last year to collect 3,000 toys.
The drive not only benefits children, but it's also a way to thank the U.S. Marines for their service, Leeth said.
Griggs/Ace Hardware hauled the toys and bikes loaded by Marines from the central Hanford construction site to the Toys for Tots distribution center using a large trailer and cargo van.
Bechtel and URS made $5,000 in corporate contributions and employees raised $3,000.