After checking in and waiting in the café-theater, parents got to shop around the tables set up in the gym and pick out up to $40 of toys for each child. Their selection ranged from stuffed animals to bikes and skateboards.
Lt. Marty Kazsuk said he had helped each year since the toy drive's inception.
"It's part of how we can give back to the community," he said. "It's a great program. It's overwhelming to see the number of people we're helping now since we started."
Although Carpenter said many other organizations have moved toward providing survival necessities during the holiday season like paying bills and buying food, he said the toy drive is still an important need for children.
"Obviously, they have to have something to eat; they have to have a roof over their head," he said. "But at the same time, that child deserves something to open up Christmas morning, and I think that's very valuable, and I think that's where we come in."
Carpenter said the fire department trusts that those coming to the toy drive are in need, only checking to make sure they haven't been assisted by another program like the Salvation Army or Shop with a Cop.
The event takes a lot of planning and four hours of set-up the night before. Carpenter said although it's a lot of work, he always sees the importance of the program in parents who stand and cry at their cars as a firefighters hand them their bags of toys.
"We put in hours upon hours upon hours, and sometimes even I, as a chairperson, wonder, 'Is it worth all this?'" he said. "But it's that one time that I carry those toys out and I get tears that I know it is. It's worth every minute ... I'd be lost at Christmas if I didn't do it."