Community comes together for Operation Toy Lift


ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) – The Christmas spirit was being raised up in Belmont County Saturday, literally!

As long as there was somebody in the basket lift at the Ohio Valley Mall, motorists driving by could donate toys to kids in need.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, city leaders, and community volunteers from the Buckeye and Mountain States teamed up for the third annual Operation Toy Lift that will make Christmas come together for many.

It’s starting to grow. There have been a couple organizations that have held fundraising events. Later today, we are going to be recognizing Union Local for raising almost a thousand dollars.

Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Police Department

The toy fundraiser ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donors pulled up to the taped off parking spot, unloading their backseats and trunks with Christmas presents.

We do a party for under privileged kids. So, this is a lot of stuff we had left over from the summer. We figured perfect. There are a lot of kids who need this.

Cindy, donor

All of the toys get loaded into this Penske truck and then, they’re loaded into these boxes which is almost filled to the brim.

The toys are taken the Belmont County sub station inside of the mall and then, picked up by the United Way early next week.

Many of the families in the upper Ohio Valley are living paycheck to paycheck and you never know when you’re going to need that help. If your car breaks down and you need that to get to work, where are you going to get the money to pay for your kids Christmas?

Melydna Sampson, Associate Director at the United Way

The United Way works with more than 10 agencies up and down the Ohio Valley.

They’ll partner with them to decide where these presents are going.

Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas is all fired up and can’t wait until these presents are delivered!

Our community and our people are fantastic. We make a lot of kids and families very happy.

Sheiff Dave Lucas of Belmont County

WTRF-TV is the proud media sponsor of this year’s event.

All monetary donations from Saturday will be to help purchase presents for older recipients who’ve outgrown toys.

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