Salvation Army gets a large toy donation

December 15, 2009 11:54:37 PM PST
Many needy children will now have gifts to open this Christmas thanks to the efforts of two men from San Francisco. They are just regular guys who decided they wanted to do something special this holiday season and then figured out how to make it happen.

One by one, the toys came out, each one making its way to the Salvation Army truck. They are going to the needy all because of two real estate agents from San Francisco who saw that there was a need.

"I said to Butchm my business partner, 'Hey, dude, we can do this, we can raise $25,000, maybe $50,000, let's just go for it. And one of the things that came up was 'Well, this is a recession. People probably won't donate,' and I said 'We're going to call them up and we're going to tell them to dig deep,'" says Rick Teed, the toy drive organizer.

And indeed they did. Their friends, associates, and co-workers donated more than $35,000 in a period of only two weeks. Some of the checks were big, some small.

"It was amazing to see the response of people who came out. My favorite check is one for $25 because I know that person really struggled," says Butch Haze, the other toy drive organizer.

The Salvation Army says this drive is unprecedented given the amount of money raised in such a short period of time. The organization is grateful, they say more families are coming to them for help for the first time than ever before.

"The needs up, the donations sort of the same maybe not so great, so something like this boosts the toys dramatically," says Claire Dunmore from the Salvation Army.

Everything was bought on Tuesday from Target and Sports Authority. Both retailers gave a 20 percent discount, allowing organizers to buy even more toys.

Unlike other toy drives that focus on little children, this one targets all ages, and there's stuff here kids these days actually want like iPods and digital cameras.

Kara Warrin didn't hesitate to make a donation. She is friends with the organizers but her motivation went much deeper.

"I have three children and I would be so sad if my children didn't have a present on Christmas," said Warrin.

But because of this effort, many children will now have presents to open on Christmas.


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