Toys for Tots collects almost 86,000 toys, just under 8,000 from News 2


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- After the 7,901 toys from News 2 were counted on Thursday, the total number donated in the Lowcountry is 85,979 toys.

The News 2 Toy Corner was emptied in 30 minutes and the toys taken will be given to families on Christmas Day. Local law enforcement agencies and dozens of volunteers came to load up multiple trailers with toys.

“This is what it’s all about doing community service and giving back,” said James Washington, of the Buffalo Soldiers of North Charleston

“It was fantastic. We had a good group this year and a lot of people came out to help,” said Jeb Maloney

“I like doing this a lot because my family does this a lot, said Vivian Money-O’Connor. “I’ve been doing this since third of fourth grade.”

After all the toys at the Toy Factory in North Charleston were allocated to registered families, the gifts from News 2 will be for children who police across the Lowcountry know need help this Christmas.

“It’s a great feeling to help the community in this way,” said Senior Patrol Officer Ryan Culnon with the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

North Charleston Fire and Police Department, Mount Pleasant Police, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Charleston County Emergency Medical Services and Hanahan Police all were a part of the collection effort.

“It’s amazing there’s so many people involved,” said North Charleston Fire Department Chief Greg Bulanow “It has such a tremendous impact to so many lives throughout the Lowcountry.”

Storm Team 2’s Rob Fowler, who heads the Toys for Tots initiative for WCBD, will be handing out toys on Christmas Day with first responders.

“Many of (the families) don’t know we’re coming. We knock on the door and their first question is ‘Who told you?’ It may have been a neighbor, could have been a family member, could have been a teacher, could have been a school resource officer,” said Fowler.

With thousands of toys in the News 2 Toy Corner, there were more than enough for some families to come in person to get toys for their Christmas on Thursday

“I am so thankful for you all helping me and I really do appreciate it for my grandkids,” said Joyce Hatchell “It’s nothing but special when I have my grandkids around.”

Sarah Defee has seven grandkids who she wanted to make sure had Christmas presents.

“Thank God that Toys for Tots is around to help you out you ain’t got nothing. It’s a blessing to me because I can’t afford to go out to the store,” said Defee.

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