Santa Saturday at WFTV/WRDQ helps collect 2,000 toys for children in need

ORLANDO, Fla. — The community came out in full force to support Santa Saturday at Channel 9.


About 2,000 toys were loaded into a truck and headed to the Toys for Tots warehouse in Kissimmee.

Santa himself took some time away from preparing up at the North Pole to welcome visitors.

The Santa Saturday event returned for the first time since the pandemic.

Read: Toys for Tots 2022 Information

The holly-jolly event was filled with crafts, festive games and the opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit with the entire WFTV family.

Cara Blonder has come to the event to donate toys for the last five years. She said that after a two-year pause, this was long overdue.

“Because of everything that is going on, we need toys more than anything in this world right now,” she said.

Read: Shop for a Toy - 2022 Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots said more than 16,000 families across Central Florida need help getting ready for Christmas this year, especially with Hurricanes Ian and Nicole happening near the end of the year.

This season also marks 75 years of Marines collecting toys for children during the holidays.

With just 15 days left until Santa takes flight, Toys for Tots event manager Aaron Rapp said they still need your help making sure every central Florida child in need sees gifts under their tree this year.

Read: Toys for Tots helps bring joy to one mother and her family after losing everything in fire

The goal is to collect 300,000 toys.

“We really have a long way to go,” said Rapp. “We need the community’s help for sure.”

Even if you were unable to make it to Saturday’s event, Toys for Tots is still hoping you can help.

You can do that by donating online or bringing gifts to a neighborhood drop-off site, which can be found here.

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