KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiserslautern Military Community families were brought comfort and joy as the Toy Industry Foundation, in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America, distributed 9,000 new toys and games to thousands of kids during a Trick-or-Treat Street Carnival held Saturday, October 22nd at Ramstein, the largest U.S. Air Force base in Germany. Servicemen and women and their children stationed at nearby Vogelweh Air Base, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, USAG Kaiserslautern and USAG Baumholder were also in attendance.
The toy distribution wraps up Year Two of the TIF-BGCA Play Comforts partnership – the first-ever national toy distribution program to serve every branch of the military. In 2011, thirty (30) U.S. military installations affected by high deployment received playthings from the Toy Industry Foundation's Toy Bank. The special event in Germany was the second international delivery for the partners, following a holiday give-away at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba in 2010.
"The brave military families who represent our armed forces both at home and abroad deserve our gratitude," said TIF Executive Director Jean Butler. "We are proud to provide the gift of play for the children who serve alongside their parents overseas and honor their patriotism which does not go unnoticed."
Lt Col Todd R. Alcott, Commander of the 86th Force Support Squadron accepted the toys on behalf of the Kaiserslautern Military Community. Each child, from toddler to teen, was able to take a home a toy of their choice. Families also enjoyed carnival games, face painting, bouncy castles, candy and Halloween holiday fun.
"This is such a great event!" said Tracy Shift who has been deployed abroad with her daughter Sydney while her husband is stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base. "Thank you so much for sending such nice toys to our military children."
Gifts distributed at the event were generously donated to TIF's Toy Bank by ALEX, American Plastic Toys, Bruder Toys, Buffalo Games, LEGO Systems, Hasbro, Mattel, Inc., Prestige Toy Corp., Ravensburger USA, Inc. and Schleich.
The Toy Bank also provides toys to children living in poverty, suffering from chronic illnesses, rescued from crisis situations and affected by natural disasters.
"We are grateful the Toy Industry Foundation has chosen to focus on this particular group of our Club members," said Terrill D. Wicks, BGCA's Vice President of Military Services and International Projects. "These children face more challenges than most with one or both parents deployed. Being able to put smiles on faces through the gift of a toy or game is a wonderful thing."
About the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF)
The Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org) is a nonprofit 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. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the TIF.
About Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA)
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has helped kids "Be Great," providing hope and opportunity for those who need it most. Today, more than 3,900 Clubs serve some 4.1 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Known as The Positive Place for Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens. In a recent Harris Survey of Club alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation