EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- On February 22nd, the owners of the popular locally owned toy store, One Upon a Toy, in Edwardsville had their loan called by the bank. On the verge of bankrupcy, the owners decided that closing for good was inevitable.
"We finally decided that we needed to tell the community," said owner Shawnta' Ray, "Give them an opportunity to use their gift certificates and just even a minute for us to say goodbye."
Some customers would not accept "good-bye". Within 24 hours, one customer started a "Save Once Upon a Toy" Facebook page that immediately received 2,000 "likes." The page then grew into a fund-raising Toy Store Rescue Campaign.
"We launched at 9:30 in the evening," customer Emily Gates said, "and I watched it until about midnight, 12:30. It kept climbing and climbing. And when I got up the next morning and checked again, we had made about a thousand dollars an hour."
"Within 24-hours, they broke the 24-thousand dollar mark" Ray added.
It was an overwhelming rush of support from the community to fight to keep Once Upon a Toy open.
"This is a unique place" explained Gates. "You can come in here and find things that you can't find at most stores. And it's not your iPad. It's not your iPhone. To actually sit down and play, and use your imagination, and use your hands, and explore and learn while you're doing it is really awesome, and you can do all of that here."
The bank has agreed to work with the store if the total of 76,000 dollars is raised by Friday. It is a goal that all ages in Edwardsville seem determined to meet, even the youngest of customers.
"We see kids put their allowance up and go, 'Mommy I want to give 6 dollars" or "I want to give 4 dollars." They're breaking open their piggy banks. That's just incredible" recalled a choked up Ray.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the total amount of contributions given to help keep Once Upon a Toy open had reached over 36-thousand dollars, almost to the halfway point of the total goal of 75-thousand dollars. So still a ways to go before the deadline is reached on Friday.
To contribute to the cause, click on this link below.