GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but Santa Claus made an early appearance on Long Island Wednesday.

The jolly old fellow took his sleigh to the Roosevelt Field Mall to pick up 500 gifts and toys donated by Garden City elementary school students.

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Over the next month, they’ll be handed out to families in need throughout the region.

“We’ve been collecting for over a month unused gifts, and they’re gifts the kids would enjoy themselves and that they would be happy to enjoy and play with,” Carrie McGovern said, a second grade teacher at Stratford Avenue Elementary School.

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The U.S. Marine Corps sponsored Santa’s sleigh ride all the way from the North Pole as part of their annual Toys for Tots program.

You can join in by dropping off donated gifts at the mall or your local police or fire station.

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