TAMAQUA, Pa. — A special visitor came through the doors of Petal Pushers in Tamaqua on Tuesday.
People call him the Schuylkill County Grinch, but he's not really a Grinch at all. In fact, he's kicking off a new toy drive to ensure every kid across Schuylkill County has a present to open on Christmas Day.
“This is the first year doing the toy drive. Before, we were just doing pictures and raising money for other foundations and stuff like that. But this year, I wanted to give back,” said Chris Wagoner, the man underneath the Grinch costume.
Chris Wagoner from Barnesville says his grandmother inspired the Grinch Toy Drive by giving back during the holiday season, even if she had little to give.
“After being adopted, I grew up with not much. And all I had for Christmas was my Grandma giving me a smile. So if that's all I can give to others, but lucky enough, we can do more and give toys and a smile,” Wagoner explained.
The Grinch partnered with different businesses throughout Schuylkill County to put out drop boxes for toys, like the one at Petal Pushers in Tamaqua.
“I've worked in child care for many years. I know the needs that small children have at Christmastime and always throughout the year. So to be a part of something like this always tugs at my heart. I'm just so happy,” said Heidi Devlin, Petal Pushers owner.
And more companies are getting on board, like MI Windows and Doors in Hegins, where Wagoner works.
“Once they heard they had a Grinch in their warehouse, they really wanted to help out and reach out. And they already committed to donating $500 worth of toys so we could pass those out this year,” Wagoner said.
The toy collection will continue through December 20. Then the Grinch will hand out presents to children in Schuylkill County until Christmas Day.
Here are the places to donate to the Grinch Toy Drive:
- Family Dollar at 139 W Centre St, Mahanoy City, PA 17948
- Petal Pushers Floral Co. at 220 Claremont Ave #3, Tamaqua, PA 18252
- Frackville American Legion Post 398 at 40 S Mahanoy St #398, Frackville, PA 17931
- MI Windows and Doors Hegins at 79 Park Ln, Hegins, PA 17938
- The Grinch's House at 795 Barnesville Drive, Barnesville, PA 18214
There’s also a GoFundMe for those who can't make it to a donation box.
Want to see more holiday stories? Check out the WNEP YouTube channel.