COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCHM) – While final totals won’t be known for a few days, Sunday’s annual Firefighters 4 Kids was a huge success for some of those who donated toys for children in need this holiday season.
From noon until 4 p.m., volunteers from NBC4, the Columbus fire department, and CAS all welcomed donors by the carload, collecting unwrapped toys for all age groups.
One of those who dropped off toys was Otto Senig, a Florida resident.
“I grew up in central Ohio and sometimes people had to help my family when I was young, so we just want to pay it back,” he said.
Though he lives in Florida now, Senig said Ohio will always be home, which is why he wanted to make sure he was part of this annual tradition, one of which his family takes pride in being a part.
“We came up here yesterday and you guys had postponed it, so we came back out today,” he said.
WATCH: See the crowds and the toys from the Firefighters 4 Kids toy drive in this timelapse video below.
And with the COVID-19 pandemic canceling last year’s drive, this year’s event is even more special.
“It’s trying to help families who may not have the resources to give what they want to give to their families, to their kids,” said Grace Fellowship Church’s Jake McCullough. “It’s a reminder that there’s a lot of good you can do out in the world.”
“We just came to donate and give some back to our community and wish everyone a Merry Christmas,” said Jeff Jackson, a central Ohio resident.
And while the toy drive event may be over, there are still a few ways to donate. Toys can be dropped off at any Columbus Division of Fire station or can make a monetary donation by clicking here.
“We have a responsibility to tell good stories. This is one of the great stories,” said NBC4 General Manager Ken Freedman. “Central Ohioans show how much people in this region care.”