Toy Drive Organizer Amy Rienhart: "We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and people have opened up their hearts, homes, and businesses just so they can help out other Pittsburghers."By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the community reach out helping hands to their neighbors, and that continues into the holiday season.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center floor looked like a child’s dream on Monday morning with toys coming by the truckload.

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“We knew that it was going to be hard, but we also knew it was going to be the most important year ever for us to do this,” Play It Forward Pittsburgh Toy Drive organizer Dr. Heather Starr Fiedler said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Throughout the week, trucks will be coming to the Convention Center downtown as part of the toy drive, which is different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve tried to make it as safe as we possibly can. We have lots of PPE, we’re separating volunteers into zones and we’re having a limited number of volunteers,” Dr. Starr Fiedler said.

Normally, the families in need come and pick out what they would like. This year, they are instead putting in requests for the toys for children, ages 0-12, and they are packaged to go. In addition, volunteers are sanitizing the toys.

“I think it’s just been a really hard year and people are super grateful,” organizer Amy Rienhart said.

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WATCH: “Play It Forward” Toy Drive on PTL —


 

Over the next few days, volunteers will continue to organize and pack the toys.

Then, on Friday and Saturday, families will come during the time slots they signed up for, and volunteers will bring the toys to them.

Organizers are thanking the community for their support during this challenging year.

“We couldn’t do it without the Pittsburgh community. It’s amazing. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and people have opened up their hearts, homes, and businesses just so they can help out other Pittsburghers,” Rienhart said.

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For more information on the toy drive and how to volunteer, visit their website here.