The Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department will again be collecting toys for the annual Toys for Tots program sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

Unwrapped toys may be dropped off at any LPFD fire station between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., now through Dec. 15. Toys should be placed in a drop-off box outside the station, which will be emptied periodically by fire department personnel.

The Toys for Tots program distributes about 18 million toys at Christmas annually to 7 million less fortunate children. That includes almost 25,000 children in Alameda County who received toys from the Marines last year.

The program was created in 1947 by Bill Hendricks, a Marine reservist and public relations director for Warner Brothers Studios in Los Angeles. Walt Disney, a friend of Hendricks, designed the first Toys for Tots poster that included a miniature three-car train that subsequently became the Toys for Tots logo.

The following year, the Marine Corps made Toys for Tots a national program by directing all Reserve centers to join in the campaign. Since 1991, Toys for Tots has been run by the nonprofit Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.