Tonawanda News — The barrels have been out for a week or two ... and the generosity has already begun.
John White, organizer of the Rockin’ With Santa toy campaign, said that there are more donation sites than before, as the community continues to embrace the effort to provide toys to families in need throughout the area.
In addition to past donation sites such as the Tonawanda News, Armstrong Pumps on Oliver Street in North Tonawanda is new this year, as is Crazy Jakes on Webster Street and the Tonawanda and North Tonawanda city halls on Niagara Street and Payne Avenue respectively. The Royal Restaurant on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda offers a site outside the Twin Cities, and Dollar General on Niagara Street in the City of Tonawanda has filled multiple barrels with toys already, White said.
“I just went there yesterday and the third one’s full,” he said Tuesday. “It’s just unbelievable how the community comes through.”
The barrel tucked inside the entrance of the Dollar General was brimming Tuesday afternoon, with a bowling set, action figures and a toy castle perched near the top. Store manager Jim McCutcheon said that the location has collected more than 500 toys so far, some in the stocking-stuffer range, but also some bigger items. One woman comes in every week and places one least one toy in the barrel each visit, he said.
“The response has been terrific,” he said. “Our customers from this area, they know about it and they support it.
“All we do is ask them if they want to support it. They almost always say yes.”
Besides the new sites, toy drop-off locations are The Tonawanda News, 435 River Road; Submasters, 105 Main St., the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, 15 Webster St. in North Tonawanda, Fast Teddy’s, 221 Main St.; Tonawanda Fire Headquarters, 44 William St., and the Twin City Elks Lodge 860, 55 Main St., in Tonawanda.