Rockford (WREX) — Santa was in town for the 21st annual 12 Hours of Salvation toy drive at the Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall.
This year was extra special because the staff at Lou Bachrodt kicked off the drive with over 700 presents.
“We’re in the business to sell cars and service cars. But, the minute you forget the community you’re doing that with, you’re gonna lose.” said Pat Bachrodt, the president of Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall.
It’s a big change from when the drive started 21 years ago.
“Our first year, we got a total of 600 toys.” said Pat.
Seeing the drive get bigger and bigger each year, and being able to help more families in the stateline is something Pat Bachrodt is grateful for.
“We’re the lucky ones. I’ll tell you what, you have to give to receive, and when we can see the eyes of the kids on Christmas morning when they open that present, you can’t be better off than that.” said Pat.
Last year so many toys were donated that the Salvation Army was able to provide each kid with two toys.
This year, the salvation army is hoping to reach that goal again, if not beat it. It’s all thanks to Lou Bachrodt for helping spread the holiday spirit.
“What’s really neat about this, is that the employees, all year long are able to give from their check, if they want, and they do give money towards these toys.” said Diane Tolcher, the Community Relations Director for the Salvation Army.
Pat Bachrodt, inspiring 815, one toy a time.
“This town is built by the community, it’s not built by who’s selling something.” said Pat.