Spark of Love has personal meaning for LA firefighter

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There is no doubt that Michael Marquez is the "spark" that helps light ABC7's Spark of Love toy drive for children in need.

"It's extremely gratifying because I know what they feel like," said Marquez. "I was one of those children."

This L.A. city firefighter says his parents got divorced when he was young, and he knows what it's like to wonder if presents would be under the Christmas tree each year.

Thanks to toy drives like Spark of Love, Marquez says his family was given toys.

MORE: Spark of Love Toy Drive 2017 - Donate today

"I know what it did for me and my family," said Marquez. "Seven brothers and a single mother, so it's very important. We woke up in the morning not expecting much, and our tree was filled with toys. I remember being extremely surprised and happy."

That's why he leads the toy program for the Los Angeles City Fire Department year after year. We caught up with Marquez while he was helping collect toys at our ABC7 Stuff-a-bus" event in Canoga Park last week.

When he wasn't directing toy donations, Marquez was also having fun giving children tours of the fire trucks.

His heart, soul and spirit for giving is also featured in ABC7's "Spark of Love" campaign.

Marquez just hopes more families will give this year and help brighten a kid's holiday.

"Normally (the donors) don't get to hear thank you from the recipients, but I'm one of them, so thank you all very much on behalf of all the children," said Marquez. "Trust me, it means a lot so please, please give. It does make a difference."
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