- Donations of toy were donated to children in Wetzel, Tyler, Belmont, Ohio, Brooke and Marshall Counties.
If there’s one common trait throughout our Upper Ohio Valley, it’s generosity. We selflessly offer our time, talents and resources to feed the hungry, to provide clothes and other necessities, to give shelter and to offer comfort. We also come together through a number of programs each year to ensure the holidays are as bright and cheerful as possible for area children.
On Saturday, the Wheeling Police Department, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland Trail Fire District, the Wheeling Fire Department, Belmont and Ohio County Emergency Management Agencies and FedEx came together to hold the sixth Operation ToyLift. The operation allows local residents the opportunity to donate toys for youngsters for the holiday season.
And donate they did.
Residents dropped off thousands of toys Saturday at the Ohio Valley Mall, where officers and other volunteers gathered to play Santa. The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley now will distribute the toys to ensure no child feels forgotten this Christmas season.
“The community’s always very generous, but especially around the holidays you see that generosity,” said United Way Executive Director Jessica Rine, who estimated hundreds of families would be assisted.
Among the volunteers were a number of area high-school students who learned first-hand how much better it is to give than to receive.
Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said the event strengthens our communities. That’s truly what’s important — providing opportunities for neighbors to help neighbors and create stronger bonds in our valley.