Operation Giving Tree brings out the best in northeast Ohioans once again

CLEVELAND -  The 12th annual Operation Giving Tree was an overwhelming success.

Once again Fox 8 viewers opened their hearts and brought thousands of brand new toys to our studios for children in need.

And the need is great.

“We’re looking at over 5-thousand children in Cuyahoga County alone,” said Kristin Gardner with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. “Their lives are full of struggle through no fault of their own.”

Northern Ohio Honda Dealers continued their sponsorship of the event with Fox 8 and will continue accepting new toys at any of their dealers through Sunday December 10th.

Board Member Mark Lyon says  they enjoy being a partner because the holiday season is about giving to someone else.

“It’s amazing,” said Lyon. “We met amazing people today. People who mowed lawns over the summer, young kids who saved their money to buy toys, a gentleman collected 2,036 gifts because they care.”

Dozens of volunteers from the county helped your friends at Fox 8 unload all of the vehicles, while the Warrensville Heights Marching band kept everyone entertained and in step.

Cheerleaders from Streetsboro and Twinsburg also braved the frigid temperatures along with Santa Claus and reindeer from Springmist Farms.

Food was donated by Panera Bread, Marcos Pizza and Mister Chicken, whose CEO Mike Simens said, “It’s really sad there’s so much need in the city of Cleveland but there are so many people with big hearts.”

The generosity and genuine outpouring of love was simply amazing.

And if anyone was unable to stop by there is still time to help out.

New toy donations can be dropped off at any Northern Ohio Honda Dealer until Sunday December 10th.