Thousands of dollars worth of toys and more than 20 tons of nonperishable food items were sorted the week of December 9 at the Armory in Morgantown, all to be donated to needy families in Monongalia County during the holiday season.
The toy distribution had 500 families pre-registered to receive food and toys at the holiday distribution and more than 100 signed up at the doors.
The line has wrapped around the building outside in previous years but the cold temperatures persuaded organizers to switch it up this year.
When we got here this morning it was about 16 degrees. So we decided to open up the long hallway area and have some people filter through and stand in line inside," said Amy Skeens, the Community Impact Director of United Way. "It seemed like something small to us but it was a really big deal to a lot of people who really appreciated the ability to be inside instead of out."
Organizations, schools, and businesses helped donate, sort and distribute. South Middle School Peer Mediators help each year at the event.
"We're the Runners. The runners, that's what it is we go back and forth all day," said Jack Wiedebusch, from South Middle School.
"So say if he wants something," added Daniel Polinsky, "He tells me, I write his name on a piece of paper and I take it back to the check out for him." Jessica Rivers was at the distribution getting food and toys for her three year old son. She says the event is a great way to not only help people receive the gifts but keep them out of trouble. "It's really appreciated because a lot of people out here don't really have anything. And that's when people are going to go out and try to steal stuff or whatever but they don't have things like this to actually give to people," said Rivers. "So, it's a really big blessing." All of the Toys and food that aren't claimed at the giveaway will go to local pantries and Christian Help.