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Thousands of toys collected during contactless donation drive

The Salvation Army truck was packed full thanks to generous donations to the Magical Toy Drive Saturday outside Belk at Carolina Place Mall.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The holidays will be magical for children in the Charlotte area thanks to generous donations to the Magical Toy Drive.

The Salvation Army told WCNC Charlotte they have seen about 60% more requests for Christmas toys this year than in previous years.  They will help nearly 9,000 children unwrap a new toy this holiday.  Due to the pandemic, people who used to donate, are now finding themselves in need of donations themselves.

In an effort to help those in need, WCNC Charlotte and The Salvation Army teamed up again this year for the Magical Toy Drive.

The Salvation Army hosted a contactless in-person donation drive to collect toys on Saturday, Nov. 28 in the Belk parking lot of Carolina Place Mall.  From bikes to books, thousands of toys were collected throughout the day filling the entire donation truck to the top.

Charlotte Soccer Academy won the team challenge. They collected 599 toys and Director of Operations Mark Thornton and a few players dropped them off Saturday morning.

"We just want to make an opportunity for people to give back," Thornton said.  

Charlotte Soccer Academy has donated to the Magical Toy Drive for the past 15 years with their annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Bowl.

"We come out to the soccer fields and play.  Kids are invited out with their parents," Thornton said of the Thanksgiving Day tradition.

Each player was asked to donate at least one toy to the Magical Toy Drive.

Donations can be made the following way through Dec. 6:

  1. Donate a new unwrapped toy in person at any Charlotte area Belk (store locations)
  2. Shop online to ship toys directly to the Salvation Army
  3. Donate money online