Michiana donated thousands of dollars in toys and thousands more dollars on Saturday in support of WNDU's Toys for Tots drive.
From Elkhart to Benton Harbor to Warsaw to South Bend, the outpouring of holiday cheer was overwhelming.
Snow was not enough to stop folks from filling everything they could find like the car, shopping carts, motorcycles, a school bus, and even an ambulance, with toys for tots on Saturday morning.
All the stories were different.
Jennifer Neff, South Bend said, “I donated all my Christmas money to Toys for Tots. I bought $110 worth of toys. I just wanted other kids to feel good too.”
Jenny Matchett filled a flatbed with toys. She said, “My dad decided last year that he'd like to fill a flatbed full of toys for tots and he passed away in June.
John Smith donated a check for money donated by fans at the Notre Dame-Western Michigan tailgate this year. "Every year we have tailgaters at the football games, and [we] raised $1,600.”
But the message and the spirit were the same.
Warsaw Police Sgt. Dave Morales said, “It's the happiness that you see on the kids faces, the tears you see from the parents when they get the toy.”
Darlene Eherenman, a volunteer, said, “To know that we are helping in a small way and yet a big way to help people's Christmas be a little brighter.”
And the outcome of that generosity will be felt from home to home on Christmas morning, making Santa's big day a big one for kids all around Michiana.
So far, Michiana has donated 16,000 toys and $13,000 to Toys for Tots, but you can still donate.
We will have boxes outside our studios on 933 in South Bend through the end of this week.