Salvation Army gets Olympian to help fill the truck

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Empty boxes began to fill with toys as the Salvation Army attempted to fill a truck with Christmas gifts.

"There is a goal set for us of 10,000 toys. We figure 1,000 toys from each one of our stores. We have 5,000 young people that we are trying to help," says Major Thomas Richmond.

Richmond said on a national level, The Salvation Army pairs with 2,500 Walmarts to fill donations each Christmas. This year, Richmond said the Charleston area received some celebrity muscle to help load the truck -- 2000 Sydney Olympics wrestling gold medalist Rulon Gardner.

"Christmas is about giving. Christmas is about that time of year to remember our past.{} It's not about what you get.{} So many great people around Charleston have given so much to the Salvation Army to allow that to be redistributed to the needy kids, kids that don't have anything -- that is such a special gift," said Gardner.{}

Even when toys didn't get dropped off, donations did. A $100 donation went right back into Walmart and came out as a cart full of toys.

"Our time is getting short.{} Next week is actually our last week that we can start looking for donated items," said Richmond.

Richmond said each of the 10 Walmarts in the Lowcountry is participating.