NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Everyone is getting into the holiday spirit– even the animals at the zoo. Well, sort of.

The Bronx Zoo kicked off its annual toy drive Friday with all the goodies going to local military families, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.

Fifth graders from P.S. 205 oozed enthusiasm as they donated the first toys to the Wildlife Conservation Society Toy Drive.

“The fact that someone is going to love it, cherish it…makes me feel fuzzy inside,” 10-year-old Jackira Ramirez said.

Each one of the stuffed animals will go to children of military families in the Bronx.

Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene said the toy drive is just one way to thank and show appreciation for all they do.

“We’ve got a lot of veterans, we’ve got a lot of guys and girls who have come back and they’re struggling,” Greene said.

“They save the world and they do it for us,” Janet Martinez said.

John Calvelli, with the Wildlife Conservation Society, says the toy drive is the zoo’s way of giving back to our men and women in uniform.

“It all starts with people here in New York giving, bringing a small toy and we give something back too,” Calvelli said.

With each new, unwrapped toy you drop into the bin, you’ll receive a ticket to return to the zoo, giving you another chance to watch the sea lions swim or come face to face with the Komodo dragons.

The toys will be handed out at the zoo just before the Christmas holiday.

The goal is to serve more than 100 Bronx military families.

Donation bins can also be found at other WCS parks like the aquarium and Prospect Park Zoo.

Toys collected at those sites will be donated to families in need within the communities they serve.

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