Updated: Thursday, 13 Dec 2012, 8:52 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 13 Dec 2012, 6:43 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Today WISH participated in a new twist to collecting toys for the Salvation Army.
Daybreak's Lauren Lowrey and Randy Ollis went from one central Indiana business to another picking up box after box of donated toys as part of the WISH Tree campaign for the Salvation Army.
We picked those specific businesses because they sent us a tweet on Twitter to let us know they had donations. It was the first time we've used a mobile Tweet Up to reach out to the community.
One of our first stops was to the Comic Book University on the south side.
"There's stuff for little kids and there's stuff for medium sized kids, said Rob Skorjanc.
"I just threw together as much as I could and there it is," he said as he donated action figures and dozens of other toys.
And we stopped at Ed Martin Buick GMC in Carmel. General Manager Ric McCoy challenged his employees to give. "I said let's fill this box up and they did just that," said McCoy.
And we couldn't leave out Huntington Bank's downtown branch.
"We had collection boxes out in all of our branch banks including our downtown and we keep filling them up," said Mike Newbold the bank's Regional VP.
The list of businesses also includes TKO Graphix of Plainfield, ProExtensions of Lawrence, Options Charter School of Carmel, as well as Indianapolis businesses including Jimmy's Nail Spa and North Meridian Hardware.
We showed up with a Salvation Army truck after each business tweeted us their location telling us they had children's toys to donate.
The Salvation Army workers who helped us pick up the toys loved the new twist we put on a tradition.
"Being a social media person it's really cool we're using Twitter to do this," said April from the Salvation Army.
"You get the sense that this is one of those events that's going to get bigger and bigger and bigger," said WISH TV's Daybreak Anchor Lauren Lowrey. "It can just keep growing as more people understand what it's about and how simple it is."
An employee who organized the collection at ProExtensions of Lawrence said, "I just thought, 'we don't have to go anywhere, it's a great cause and we'd just love to donate."
"People are showing the love they have for kids in central Indiana," said Meteorologist Randy Ollis.
And the need is great. The Salvation Army will help 800 central Indiana families enjoy Christmas.
"We have a lot of families that are recently unemployed. And it's hitting them for the first time. They don't know what to do," said the Salvation Army's Capt. Nick Montgomery. "It's just by the grace of God that we're able to partner with you folks and are able to provide a Christmas for them."
Our six hour effort helped collect 1,184 gifts in our nine stops. The toy distribution is next week.
"We're going to pass the toys out later next week and to see the expressions on the kids' faces," said Randy Ollis who has taken part in the WISH Tree tradition since 1997. "It's really touching to see."