McKEESPORT (KDKA) – A McKeesport soup kitchen is calling an unexpected donation of toys “a miracle.”
The kitchen didn’t know where to find Christmas toys for the children who come to the kitchen, but suddenly a truck load of toys appeared.
It may not be Santa’s sleigh, but a pick-up truck full of toys brought the joy of Christmas to a child in need.
The pick-up from the Allegheny Valley Detachment Marine Corps’ “Toys for Tots” program brought 300 toys to the children’s Christmas party at Keisell’s Soup Kitchen in McKeesport. The center had some gifts, but no toys and no idea where to find donations, but that changed when the center called KDKA.
KDKA-TV’s Marty Griffin called Toys for Tots and within two hours, a delivery of toys showed up at the front door.
“Praise God, I don’t know what to say,” Pastor Helen Burkhardt said. “We’re just so pleased, and so happy. None other would do this but channel two.”
“Someone was bringing toys to our building to donate them, when we received a call about the children here not having toys for Christmas,” retired Master Sgt. Emil Zilka Jr. with the U.S. Marine Corps said, “and God brought it all together, and we’re here bringing the toys for the children.”
When the toys arrived, the smiles began. For the next few days, dozens of children in McKeesport will have a toy on Christmas Day.
“It’s a true blessing,” grandparent Shawnda Little-Dreher said. “It’s a true blessing because there are a lot of people around here who don’t have anything.”
Pastor Helen Burkhardt says the need is greater now than ever before, but she believes in miracles.
“It is a miracle, and I do believe in miracles now,” she said, “but no one else did, but I kept telling them, ‘They’ll be here.’”