Toys for Tots Troubles in Schuylkill County?

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SAINT CLAIR, Pa. -- Toys For Tots in Schuylkill County is claiming a Walmart near Pottsville told the organization it can no longer have its drop-off bins at the store.

But Walmart claims that's simply not what happened.

Toys For Tots in Saint Clair tells us it's been using the Walmart near Pottsville as a spot to collect toys for 16 years. It was the most successful location in the county, but that relationship has now ended in a curious turn of events.

"Yesterday, we went to make our routine pick up for toys at the local Walmart store. When we were picking them up, we were advised to take our boxes with us, that corporate had made a decision that we weren't going to be able to collect toys up there anymore," said Ed Quirin, Schuylkill County Toys For Tots.

Newswatch 16 then reached out to Walmart. A spokesperson with the corporation tells us that's simply not the case, saying:

"We offered them different options that would have allowed us to continue working with the organization, including a 'fill the truck' event in the store's parking lot or a donation, but they declined."

"For 16 years, this was our best location for picking up toys out of 150 locations we have around the county. It was like the gift that kept on giving. Every time we went up, we had a nice load of toys," Quirin said.

There is some good that's come out of all of this. Toys For Tots in Saint Clair tells us that businesses around Schuylkill County have called, offering to take on these boxes and serve as drop off locations.

Hadesty's Hardware in Pottsville added that there's a box there every year that's always filled with toys.

"There's a lot of people in this county that aren't fortunate to get gifts, so I feel it's a good thing. We have this here every year to give back to the kids," said Payton Renninger, Hadesty's Hardware.

Walmart says it's the store policy to not have the drop-off boxes inside the store, to avoid the possibility of customers taking toys off the shelves and putting them in the bins. The store does allow the Toys For Tots boxes to reside outside the store. It adds it's not ruling out the possibility of working with Toys For Tots in the future.

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