HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — It is almost time for the holidays and in the Valley, that means it's Toy Convoy season.
The Salvation Army is hoping to collect toys for over a thousand children throughout our area.
Chief John Blevins, with the Salvation Army, shopped alongside Rose Swartz, one of the owners of the Harrisonburg Auto Mall, who donated $5,000 toward gifts for children to kick off this year's Toy Convoy.
"I like to do this because I like to give to children that can't afford gifts and just don't get gifts for Christmas," said Braelynn Swartz, Rose's daughter.
Rose and her family have been making the annual donation for over eleven years. They picked popular items like LOL dolls and even some Fortnite characters.
Blevins says his hope is to make dreams come true for thousands of children.
"We are going to make dreams come true for over 1,200 kids today and we are going to go shopping, thanks to a $5,000 donation from the Harrisonburg Auto Mall. We are going to find lots of toys and hopefully make a lot of boys and girls happy today," said Blevins.
But Toy Convoy needs help from everyone possible.
2019 marks the 23rd year of Toy Convoy, which was started by and is an initiative of WHSV done on behalf of The Salvation Army for Harrisonburg/Rockingham County, Staunton and Waynesboro and Page One in Page County.
Each year, WHSV partners with Mountain Valley Burger King, Harrisonburg Auto Mall and Wal-Marts across the area to gather toys from our community to benefit local children in need.
This year, our toy drive starts with the Staunton Christmas Parade on December 2. It then runs all the way through December 14.
Our goal is to serve all the children in need in this area from infants to 12-year-olds. Toys will stay in the area where they are donated. So if you donate a toy in Page County, it will stay there.
While many people tend to gravitate to toys in the toddler to 7-year-old range, it's important to not forget about either the small babies or the older kids too.
All kinds of toys are gladly accepted, and WHSV staff will be at locations across the area in the coming weeks to help collect them!
Where can you donate:
- Staunton Christmas Parade on December 2
- Waynesboro Christmas Parade on December 7
- The Harrisonburg Holiday Parade on December 6
- Any of these Wal-Mart locations: Dayton, Harrisonburg Crossing, Timberville, Luray, Staunton and Waynesboro
- Any of these Burger King locations: Elkton, Mount Crawford, Harrisonburg (South Main, East Market Street [Downtown and near the Valley Mall], Staunton [Richmond Road], Verona and Waynesboro
- Any Harrisonburg Auto Mall location, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi – all on South Main Street
- Any Salvation Army location in Harrisonburg, Staunton or Waynesboro.
- WHSV's station in Harrisonburg during business hours.
- Online: Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro