BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Families in Berwick and Bloomsburg waited eagerly to give toys and donations to the railcars riding through the boroughs.
“We have some games and some Barbie dolls and some trucks,” said Lori Hahn, Millville.
This is the 17th year the railcars travelled from Northumberland to Berwick, and back, to collect the items for the Toys for Tots program. The railcar owners are part of the North American Rail Car Owners Association. The railcars themselves are special.
“The railroads used them for track inspections and things, now they have the pick up trucks. Now they don’t need them anymore. We turned it in a hobby,” said Larry Maynard, Excursion Leader.
Rail car watchers tell us they’ve seen a need for toy donations, especially this year.
“This is the most messed up year of my life. I’m 72-years-old and I never saw anything like this mess, and a lot of families are out of work and you know this will bring a little joy in their lives for Christmas,” said Maynard.
Lisa Stadler has been donating toys ever since the annual excursion began. She became emotional telling us how much the cause means to her.
“I think it’s important to give to others, especially this time of year,” said Stadler.
Her sister says the experience also teaches a lesson to children.
“I think it’s neat to show them how to give to others, how to help others at all times of the year, not only just the holiday, but the holiday is special for people that need stuff,” said Lori Hahn, Millville.
The excursion last year collected more than 1,100 toys and almost $3,000. Maynard says they’re on pace to do the same this year.