Toys come thousands of miles to help Toledoans in need - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toys come thousands of miles to help Toledoans in need

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  • Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive

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    13abc launched the "Hope for the Holidays" toy drive last year to provide the Salvation Army a boost in helping families during a challenging economy. Nearly 8,000 new bicycles, games, dolls and other toys were donated.
    13abc launched the "Hope for the Holidays" toy drive to provide the Salvation Army a boost in helping children. More than 18,000 new bicycles, games, dolls and other toys were donated last year.

'Tis the season for giving! 13abc has teamed up with The Salvation Army, Hylant group, Vito's pizza and subs, Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault and Schaffer and Walmart for another year of the Hope for the Holidays toy drive. The toys have been pouring in thanks to our generous viewers!

Hundreds of toys are filling our lobby here at 13abc and some of them came from thousands of miles away. We have visiting journalists here at the station from a TV station in the republic of Georgia and they brought toys with them. The journalists made the more than 5800 mile trip to Toledo from the Republic of Georgia, which was once part of the Soviet Union. When they heard about our toy drive they packed a few donations.

Khatuna Salukvadze is a producer at a Georgian television station,"Toy making is a source of income for a lot of people in Georgia. The toys we brought with us are handmade and they are wearing Georgian national costumes."

The journalists are here as part of a program that's run through the US embassy in Georgia. It partners regional stations in Georgia with American TV stations.

They say having a chance to take part in an American tradition to help those in need is a small way they can say thank you, "We have seen a lot of help and aid coming from the American people so for us this is a small contribution to pay back some of the good things we've received from Americans."

The new head of the local Salvation Army has a connection to Georgia. Captain Kevin Zanders went there in 1997 on a mission trip, "It was a great opportunity to see first of hall how well we live here in the United States compared to those in other countries. It made me realize how blessed I am to be in this country."

While The Salvation Army will help about 1,600 families this Christmas, they provide help to those in need 365 days a year, "We are here year round primarily helping with emergency food assistance, utility bills when we have funding and helping counsel people to try to get them heading in the right direction, set the stepping stones for them.  What we do is try to meet everyone's needs without discrimination."

In addition to the hope for the holidays toy drive a lot of you are probably familiar with The Salvation Army's red kettle campaign around the holidays. The goal this year is to raise a little over a half a million and they are a bit behind. They're hoping you can help their effort by donating if you see one of their bell ringers

 

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