Operation Toy Lift’s 4th year of helping kids in need

Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, OHIO (WTRF) — It’s once in a Christmas season when a bucket truck is lifted high above the Ohio Valley Mall parking lot, and someone familiar is in it again this year. It’s Santa Claus!

This is “Operation Toy Lift’s” 4th year of helping kids in need.

They’re collecting gifts for kids, such as toys, clothes, bikes, and they’re even taking money donations. Organizers say well over $5,000 has been collected in just the first hour of the event, but most of that was donated even before the event began.

The Wheeling Police Department, Belmont County Sheriff’s Office and other local partners, like WTRF, are all behind this event.

St. Clairsville’s Chick-Fil-A matched donations for a portion of the event.

“All I can say is this is what Christmas is all about… giving and giving for the kids. This is what it’s about. It is phenomenal what our Valley does and come forward to give this time of year for the kids.”

David Lucas, Belmont County Sheriff

“What more reason to step up even bigger this year, and at 8:30 this morning, there were people dropping off toys and we weren’t even up and running yet.”

Shawn Schwertfeger, Chief of Wheeling Police Department

The event ended a couple hours ago, but organizers say it isn’t too late to donate. Just contact the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, Wheeling Police, or the Ohio Valley Mall if you’d like to donate.

They’re taking donations until Christmas.

Our 7news anchor Taylor Long was also in the bucket truck at noon today.

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