Charlie Batch Needs Help Making Holidays Happy for Kids

Retired Steeler Charlie Batch hopes to collect 8000 toys for needy children in the area through his annual "Batch A Toys" drive

Just about everywhere Charlie Batch goes, people want to meet him and shake his hand. Now he's hoping that his popularity will help him help thousands of children in our area who might not have a happy holiday because their families can't afford it.

The former Steeler's annual " Batch A Toys " drive, organized by his " Best of the Batch Foundation " is underway. It kicked off with a collection drive at US Steel Plaza downtown, and Sparkt was there for the festivities:

The collection drive continues through the month of December at dozens of local drop-off points all over the region.

Charlie says last year, volunteers, like the young people who helped at the Steel Plaza drive, collected enough toys for about 6,000 children. This year they're hoping for 8,000 toys, plus donated household items that these families can use, like new pots and pans sets, dishware and bedding.

It breaks your heart to hear some of the stories Charlie tells about the grateful families who have benefited in the past. Like the little boy who wrote a thank you note last year about his gifts, and the new silverware his mother received. "He said thank you not only for the presents but for the spoon because now I can actually eat my cereal," remembered Charlie. "And that really hit home, he can eat cereal now. What was he doing prior to that?"

You can drop off your new, unwrapped toy or household item at one of the collection centers listed on the Best of the Batch website, or make a donation to Best of the Batch at their website .

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