‘Weight of the 8’ podcast members give back to Florence community with annual toy drive

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — The organizers of a podcast that highlights people with a variety of talent across the Carolinas delivered some holiday cheer to the Florence Community on Christmas Eve.

Members of the “Weight of the 8” held their annual toy drive to provide new and lightly used toys to children in need.

Marquis Wideman, Rashawn McClam, Jawaun McClam, and Eric Ruppert, who all grew up in Florence, started the podcast in 2019 to spotlight local artists, clothing designers, filmmakers, musicians, poets and others and Carolinas and provide a platform that showcases their talents. They say the toy drive is their way of cheering up the neighborhoods they grew up in.

“It’s just pure excitement, like I said, “Wideman said. “It warms my heart to see that these kids are doing good.”

“It’s important for us to give back to the city that raised us,” McClam said. “That’s the most important to us. So, it was good to do, especially in the time of COVID, and especially with the time people aren’t having a happy holiday season. We just want to put a smile on everybody’s face.”

Wideman, who grew up as an only child, said the toy drives hit home for him.

“I saw the amount of attention I was given when I was a kid, so it’s like I just want to see that given back to other kids as well,” he said.

The podcast members said the giving spirits don’t stop at their toy drive event.

“We still have donations coming in. So, right after this pick up we’re going to the Children’s Hospital. We might go to the Boys & Girls Club. We even might go around to some neighborhoods around here and knock on some doors and give out some toys. This is not just the last thing that we’re having. We’re probably going to be giving out toys probably up until New Year’s Day.”

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