Thanks to an extension in the donation deadline, a goal of 8,000 toys collected was surpassed Saturday for The Chronicle-Telegram’s Not-Forgotten Box toy drive.
The toys are given to the Salvation Army for its Christmas program, in which qualifying parents can shop for toys for Christmas.
By extending the deadline, 8,119 toys collected as of Saturday and more are expected Monday, said Classified Advertising Supervisor Lucy Goldsmith.
“We hit it today, so I’m glad we extended it,” Goldsmith said. “We got a lot of people in around 1 p.m. and we were thrilled.”
The additional donations will go a long way toward helping families in emergency situations, or ones who missed the signup with the Salvation Army but need help putting gifts under the tree, Goldsmith said.
Some of those late donations arrived Saturday evening compliments of Santa Claus. Claus was actually Jeff LaVigne of Elyria, whose family has been donating toys for many years, he said.
He’d already dropped off some toys in Wellington and was heading to Brunswick after stopping his sleigh at The Chronicle-Telegram.
Three boxes and a large bag of toys including everything from yo-yos to Play-Doh to card games will now be available for families in need.
“We’re not well off, but we’re good enough that we can help people out from time to time,” LaVigne said of his family’s tradition of giving.
LaVigne said his family usually hits the stores the day after Christmas to snap up the end-of-the-season toy deals for donation throughout the following year.
“We do this because we want to teach our kids to give back,” he said.