Two teams hit the road early in the morning on December 11, determined to visit as many locations as possible in one day and collect hundreds of toys for The Salvation Army Toy Shop later this month.What they didn’t expect was 2,181 toys awaiting pick-up, double the number collected during the same event last year.
Tweet for Toys was started in 2012 by WISH-TV 8 as a way to collect toys for its WISH Tree toy drive, which helps to provide the toys that are distributed at Toy Shop. Noticing the social media buzz that the event was getting in the days leading up to it, WISH-TV decided to send two trucks and two teams out on the road. This proved to be a wise decision, as the teams were called to twenty different locations in central Indiana.
One team, which included WISH-TV’s Scott Sander and Julie Patterson, criss-crossed the city as tweets requesting pick-ups appeared online throughout the day. Among their many stops were the City of Westfield, Ed Martin Automotive, Bar Keeper’s Friend, TKO Graphix and Carmel Glass & Mirror. Eight hours later they had filled the Salvation Army box truck with 907 toys.
Two Men and a Truck also had a box truck that followed WISH-TV’s Randy Ollis and Lauren Lowrey from site to site and quickly filled up with donated toys. They visited the Marion County Coroner’s Office, Orman Accounting, Jimmy’s Nail Salon and many other locations, collecting a total of 1,274 toys. Pro Extensions made the biggest donation of the day — an entire hallway lined with boxes brimming with toys.
The day’s events were streamed live on wishtv.com and followed closely on Twitter and Facebook. The Nicholson family, who was following the Tweet for Toys crews on social media, decided to join in on the fun and met up with one team to hand over a trunk-full of toys. As Lauren Lowrey commented afterwards, “Next year we may need FOUR trucks if it keeps growing like this!”
Let’s hope her prediction comes true and The Salvation Army can serve more children each Christmas thanks to the amazing generosity of our community.