ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF) – The 6th Annual Operation Toy Lift works from the ground up at the Ohio Valley Mall to elevate the spirits of everyone in the holiday season.

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”The fact that we get bigger and bigger every year is a motivating factor in itself because we’re able to help more and more children.”

Shawn Schwertfeger – Chief, Wheeling Police Department

Although Santa did make an appearance, the Wheeling Police Department, Belmont County Sherriff’s department, the United Way and so many more have come together as Santa’s helpers in asking for unwrapped toys or monetary donations to give as many children the magic of Christmas as possible. 

”It’s just a continual drive through of people dropping off toys for the kids in the Ohio Valley. It’s a very fun day. It’s a very warming day to see all these people come out and drop off toys. I can’t express enough gratitude for that. It’s just a fun-filled day for everybody.”

James Zusack – Chief Deputy, Belmont County Sheriff’s Department

Spirits aren’t just lifted – many familiar Ohio Valley faces rose high in the sky in bucket trucks provided by AEP to get the attention of shoppers passing by. 

You may have even seen 7News reporters Baylee Martin and Colin Roose waving from above, representing WTRF’s proud sponsorship of this heartwarming event. 

It may just be a bike, doll, or game, but it truly is the kindness of the Ohio Valley bringing holiday magic to so many. 

”As a whole, just the Ohio Valley just – they treat law enforcement well. That’s one thing about the Ohio Valley, and they are very generous and you can see this today with the amount of toys that we’ve collected.”

James Zusack – Chief Deputy, Belmont County Sheriff’s Department

”The people are what makes the Ohio Valley so special. It’s just great to see so many people out here this early on a chilly and foggy day but again, we’re all motivated by the same thing.”

Shawn Schwertfeger – Chief, Wheeling Police Department

Yet again, Operation Toy Lift has seen major success in raising hope right here in the Ohio Valley.