It's Kindertime Toy Drive celebrates 20 years, brings smiles and holiday spirit to city

Posted at 11:25 PM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 23:28:19-05

BALTIMORE — If you didn't think giving was better receiving, you will now. The Kindertime Toy Drive celebrated 20 years of giving to the city of Baltimore.

WMAR 2 News rode along as first responders from everywhere brought holiday cheer to the city's youngest!

“It makes me feel blessed and thankful,” said 8-year-old Eric Anderson.

If you saw the dozens of cruisers and firetrucks, you might have thought it was because of a major crime scene in the city, But it was a caravan of first responders delivering toys and smiles.

“It's great for police to be seen going out and giving gifts to children and Pete just does a great job getting donations and getting all this together,” said Major William Davis of The Harford County Sheriff’s Office.

WMAR 2 News’ own Pete O’Neal puts on the drive every year. It's a labor of love not only for children in need, but to honor his mother, who was murdered in Baltimore years ago. For parents who may not have been able to give their kids a Christmas, the toy drive means so much.

“It makes me feel blessed that there are people out here trying to help the kids and they have fun, we've coming here for seven years, said mother of four, Tia Palmer.

Even the youngest in the crowd, understood the meaning of giving.

I really appreciate people coming here to give children toys because other people don't have toys or the community giving them free toys,” said 7-year-old A’raya Myers.

Officers who see the worst of people, are reminded of the true meaning of the season.

Melvin Russell, Acting Deputy Commissioner of The Baltimore Police Department told WMAR 2 News, “That toy means everything in the world because if they weren't getting that toy they weren't getting anything so that one day acts as a disruption for the despair they're feeling. So for that one day you hand them a doll, a truck, a train, they cherish that.”