KODIAK, Alaska, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 1,200 children living with their families on Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak in Alaska were treated to a special toy giveaway on June 15th by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services.
At a fun-filled barbecue featuring music, face-painting, and carnival-themed activities, children whose parents bravely serve in the Coast Guard, Navy SEALS and Army National Guard chose their very own games, stuffed animals and other toys. The playthings were donated by the Toy Industry Foundation to bring continued laughter and joy into the stressful lives of these deserving kids.
"It is common for military families to relocate frequently, sometimes to remote areas," said TIF Executive Director Jean Butler. "This makes it even more difficult for children to handle the stress of their parents' frequent deployments as they get to know their new home. Toys and play help relieve this stress, which is why we are excited to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs to reach military youth across the globe."
"Through our service to almost 500,000 youth on U.S. military installations, we see firsthand how difficult military life can be for children who must balance the challenges of youth with the frequent deployments of their parents," said Terrill Wicks, national vice president, Military & Outreach Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Few things can relieve these stresses like the joy of fun and play, and we are thrilled to have a partner like Toy Industry Foundation to help share that magic with military youth across the globe."
"It's difficult to get things here because Kodiak Island is so remote," said Adina Preston, mother of four-year-old Rowan and wife of ME 1 Brian Preston. "We know it's challenging to produce events like this, but the joy that you brought to our children is wonderful. Our kids don't fully understand the moving parts of military life but the sacrifices we make are great."
The event was held as part of the joint TIF / BGCA Play Comforts program – the first-ever national toy distribution initiative to serve every branch of the U.S. military. Through Play Comforts, toys and games donated by caring toy companies are delivered on an annual basis to families on dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. Now in its fourth year of operation, the program has provided more than $3.5 million in toys for children of military families.
Gifts distributed at this event were generously donated to the Toy Industry Foundation's Toy Bank by ALEX, Bananagrams, DuneCraft, Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel, MindWare, Safari Ltd., and contributors to TIF's annual collection at the American International Toy Fair® tradeshow. The Toy Bank is now celebrating 10 years of providing toys for more than 10 million children in need around the world.
Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring joy, comfort, and learning to children in need through toys and play. While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, TIF sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives.
About Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) (www.GreatFutures.org)
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation