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Charlotte community gives generously to make holidays magical for kids in need

WCNC Charlotte raised a total of $197,224 this year for the Salvation Army's Magical Toy Drive.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the true spirit of giving, the Charlotte community united to make Christmas special, during a time when people needed it most.

For the last 15 years, WCNC Charlotte teamed up with the Salvation Army for the Magical Toy Drive.  This year, some families who donated to the toy drive last year, found they needed help themselves because they were impacted by COVID-19.

WCNC Charlotte raised a total of $197,224 this year, quadrupling the amount from last year.  The Salvation Army handed out gifts to more than 8,000 kids to wrap up its 2020 Magical Toy Drive.  

“We are overwhelmed by the number of people who contributed to help make this holiday magical for children.  It’s heartwarming to know those who could donate, stepped up when their neighbors needed it most,” WCNC Charlotte President and General Manager Joan Barrett said.

This year was a bit different for the Magical Toy Drive since 60% more families needed toys than in previous years because of COVID-19.  

Here are a few highlights from the toy drive

•    Belk, The Original Mattress Factory and Ally Financial sponsored the Magical Toy Drive to help spread the word that more families needed donations.

•    WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation announced a matching gift up to the first $10,000 donated online.  A grand total of $40,524 was donated.

•    Belk placed donation barrels in every area department store. They collected a record donation of $20,000 worth of toys.

•    The Salvation Army hosted a contactless in person donation drive at Belk at Carolina Place Mall Saturday, November 28.  They collected $24,000 worth of toys.

•    To help make donating to the Magical Toy Drive safe and easy, the community was invited to purchase toys online and have them shipped directly to the Salvation Army.  A total of $61,480 worth of toys were purchased online.