CLINTON — Clinton School District Transportation officials announced Monday that the Toys for Our Kids drive held Saturday at Wal-Mart was a big success.

According to a thank-you letter sent by Transportation Director Terry Fife, an estimated $4,000 worth of toys were donated on Saturday.

“It was really successful,” said Transportation Secretary Pam Rehr-Otto. “We were really happy with the turnout.”

Clinton school bus drivers have been ringing bells for the Salvation Army kettles for years. Fife had the idea to start the toy drive program when he saw area food drives filling truck trailers. This is the third year the bus drivers have conducted the toy drive. Last year’s drive collected around $2,500 worth of toys for local children.

“Every year it gets a little bit better,” Rehr-Otto said.

Clinton school bus drivers, assistants and monitors and the Clinton High School cheerleaders staffed the collection of toys outside Wal-Mart from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. The toys will be given to the Clinton office of the Salvation Army and will be handed out to children in the Gateway area as part of its Holiday Network program.

“It all stays local,” Fife said during last year’s drive, “That’s what we like about it.”

On Monday, Fife issued a thank you to everyone involved in the project including Clinton Wal-Mart and its employees, transportation department employees, numerous Clinton organizations and businesses, the CHS cheerleaders, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Capts. Shannon and Martin Thies of the Salvation Army, the Clinton Herald, WHBF-TV (channel 4) and all the shoppers who donated toys or money.

“Your kindness will put a smile on the faces of many Clinton area families served by the Holiday Network and the Salvation Army,” Fife wrote.

Donations to the drive will be accepted through Dec. 15. Anyone wishing to make a donation of toys or money can bring items to the bus barn at 3209 Dunn Road in Camanche. The bus barn is located near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Mill Creek Parkway and is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Shannon Thies said she remains impressed by the generosity of area people.

“I’d love to thank the public, the community of Clinton, who have supported our efforts to give area kids a good Christmas,” Thies said. “I’d also like to say thank you to the bus barn employees for all the wonderful work they did, ringing bells and collecting toys, and how much it means to us.”