AUSTIN (KXAN) — For five years, north Austin resident Ricky Diaz has partnered with area businesses to collect hundreds of toys for local children. This holiday season, he and participating small businesses raised $5,555 and bought 800 toys for neighborhood kids.

Diaz grew up in several north Austin neighborhoods and started the tradition to give back to families who might otherwise not be able to afford holiday gifts. Last year, they purchased roughly 500 toys with around $5,000 raised.

“It made me realize many people really need help most of the holidays,” he told KXAN in late November. “A lot of people are in bad situations.”

As of late November, Diaz said approximately a half-dozen local businesses had gotten involved, offering donations or setting up collection boxes in their own stores to support his efforts.

The drive provides toys for kids in several north Austin neighborhoods, including the Rundberg, Brownie Drive and St. John’s areas.

“It’s not only the kids that are happy and get excited,” he said. “The parents seem to enjoy it too. It’s just a really good feeling to be able to help out.”