The United Way of York County has a new message: Thank you, concerned citizens -- Santa's sleigh is full again with donations to fill Christmas wish lists for area needy children.
After an article in Wednesday's Herald, the Rock Hill-based office was flooded with calls from those seeking to donate to the nonprofit agency's "Toys for Happiness," said Beth Covington, director of marketing and communications.
"We are shocked," Covington said about the avalanche of money and toy donations that poured into the agency Wednesday. "It's been everything from people offering to donate coloring books and crayons to people writing checks for hundreds of dollars. It's what we needed."
Wednesday's pledges and hand- delivered donations netted about $4,650, Covington said.
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"We had a guy write us a check for $2,000," Covington said. "People have just been very generous. They're so moved to help those in need. We're so thankful."
Others dropped their donations at radio station WRHI, Covington said. The figure donated was unknown Wednesday, she said.
United Way's "Toys for Happiness" provides five to six items plus some stocking stuffers for needy children up to age 14 in York County. Last year, the 21-year-old endeavor and supporting agencies made Christmas possible for nearly 2,900 children.
However, those seeking help this year grew by 15 percent to 20 percent, leaving the agency with more children to help and fewer gifts to give. But not anymore.
Early Wednesday morning, some local waiters and waitresses pitched in and raised some money for "Toys for Happiness," Covington said.
"They went shopping before their restaurant opened," she said. "That really made us feel good."
An unidentified man, who is employed with the city of Rock Hill, took the gift card his boss gave him and turned it over to "Toys for Happiness," Covington said.
"It's a very humbling experience to see people who are giving as much as they can," she said. "It's such an amazing feeling."
Meanwhile, the office phones rang all day, people hit the "click here to donate" on a the United Way's Web site, and Covington sat in awe.
"We received donations from every corner of York County," she said. "Now, we can help all our kids have a Merry Christmas."
WANT TO HELP?
The United Way of York County needs your help to make Christmas brighter for some children.
Checks, payable to United Way with "Toys for Happiness" in the memo line, should be mailed to United Way of York County, P.O. Box 925, Rock Hill, SC 29731.
Donors also can hand-deliver their monetary gifts to the agency's Rock Hill-based office at 226 North Park Drive, off Dave Lyle Boulevard. Donations also can be taken to radio station WRHI at 142 N. Confederate Ave., Rock Hill.
Individuals also can visit www.unitedwayofyc.org and click on "click here to donate."
Toys also can be dropped off. For details or to volunteer your time, call Beth Covington at 324-2735.