Ingles Magical Christmas Toy Drive Provides Gifts for Thousands of Local Children

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One of Asheville’s brightest Christmas traditions recently began its seventh year as thousands of generous individuals, families, businesses, clubs, and organizations came to Ingles on Tunnel Road in spite of the rain to help ensure that children in our community will have a memorable and Merry Christmas this year.

For more than fifty hours the Ingles Magical Christmas Toy Drive collected toys and cash donations with Josh Michael and Ariel Rymer of the “Josh and Ariel Morning Show” on iHeart Radio’s Star 104.3 lead the way, tirelessly on the air asking those who live in Western North Carolina to join them in making Christmas bright for so many.

Thousands of new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations were collected for the Saint Nicholas Project during the drive to help stock the Ingles Toy Store at 80 Westgate Parkway in the Westgate Shopping Center in West Asheville.


“This Christmas thousands of area children will have a brighter holiday thanks to the generosity of Ingles, WLOS, Clear Channel, Tony and Isa Fraga, the Smoky Mountain Toy Run,Valley Trucking, the Smoky Mountain Harley Owners Group, and so many others who have volunteered their time and donated to our toy drive,” states Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities.

“We have already seen nearly 3,000 children register for the St. Nicholas since October 1st; and to again be working with Ingles on such a wonderful and important project is not only a great honor for us, but will touch so many more lives than ever before.”

But the Christmas Season is just beginning as more and more families are contacting Eblen Charities this year during these difficult economic times than ever before. So donations are still needed to provide a bright Christmas for those who are facing difficult times.

Toys and donations can be dropped off at the Ingles Toy Store or the Eblen Charities Waddell Client Service Center at the Westgate Shopping Center, any area Ingles Markets, or at numerous places around our community.

Last year the Saint Nicholas Project provide Christmas gifts, clothes, food, and other items to nearly 4,500 children and their families who are in need in our community each year. Thanks to our generous sponsors, donors, staff, and volunteers thousands of children and their families are able to have a bright and memorable holiday that they may otherwise have been without.

Our special thanks to Bobby Ingle, Jim Lanning, Tom Outlaw, and Melissa Leavell, of Ingles Markets; Brian Hall, Caroline Taylor, Josh Michael and Ariel Rymer, and everyone at of iHeart Radio; and Joe Fishleigh and everyone at WLOS-TV, and the Asheville Citizen-Times for their kindness and allowing us the opportunity to join them in this great event and tremendous outreach to better serve those in times of need in our community, especially during the holiday season.

Our heartfelt thanks as well to the Smoky Mountain Toy Run, Friday’s Staffing, Two Men and a Truck, Great Beginnings-Great Smiles Dentistry, Wicked Weed Brewing, and all the wonderful companies, organizations, and groups that are collecting toys with our drop boxes.