News Channel 8’s 9th annual Kindness Day huge success

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa Bay area’s generosity knows no bounds. This year’s Kindness Day here at News Channel 8 proved to be a record setter.

We focused on helping four, local charities: Toys for Tots, Feeding America Tampa Bay, The Rough Riders and One Blood.

In a record-breaking day for donations, those four organizations will make the holidays much brighter for thousands.

Before the crack of dawn Friday, the line of donors started forming outside our Tampa News Center.

One by one, car after car….all pulling up with presents, food and teddy bears.

The Buc’s Captain Fear was one of the first to greet them as they pulled through the parking lot.

We even spotted a caped superhero sweeping in with a massive bag of toys.

All of those went to the US Marines, collecting for Toys for Tots.

Last year, they received 4,126 toys, but thanks to you, this year they took home a record-breaking 5,200.

Feeding America Tampa Bay also broke a record today. Last year they got 6,500 pounds of food….but this year? Your generosity led to more than 7,300 pounds.

“During the holidays there’s a lot of accidents and different things like that. So, the need for blood, definitely during the holidays, goes up,” said Mykel Shelley with One Blood.

That’s why hundreds of you took the time to roll up your sleeve and donate blood. Last year, One Blood collected 63 pints for its supply. This year, One Blood exceeded that number with more than 80 pints.

Even the Rough Riders, who donate teddy bears year round, blew past last year’s total. The “teddy bear express” drove away with 3,115 stuffed animals.

“Every one of those bears is going to find a home between now and probably the end of the year,” said Rough Rider member, Greg Eckley.

Those 500 goody bags worth more than $100 we showed you this week? They were gone by around 10 a.m. Friday morning!

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