Holiday Fun from the Sky: Kids Wish Network Contributes Over $40,000 Worth of Toys to the Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop
FT. BRAGG, N.C. – Kids Wish Network, a nationwide charitable organization based out of Holiday, Fla., used their amazing Gift Bank program to contribute over $40,000 worth of toys to the 13th annual Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop in an effort to reach their goal of collecting 10,000 toys for children in need in the Ft. Bragg area.
Since 1998, U.S. Army base Fort Bragg and the U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psycchological Operations Command [USACAPOC (A)] have hosted the Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop to benefit local children in need. During a week-long toy drive, paratroopers and other members of the military bring new, unwrapped toys to the base to benefit the children in need all around Fort Bragg. Once collected, the toys are sorted according to their appropriateness for age and gender and are then wrapped and distributed to local children’s homes and social service agencies. Since the Operation’s inception, they have collected and distributed over 35,000 toys for children in need, including an amazing effort to send a toy to every child who lost a parent in the tragic 9/11 attacks.
This year, national children’s charity Kids Wish Network reached out to Operation Toy Drop after hearing about the toy drive on the news and speaking with the project’s Public Affairs Officer, Lietenant Colonel Gerald Ostlund. Kids Wish Network was more than willing to help Operation Toy Drop reach its goal of collecting 10,000 toys through their amazing Holiday of Hope Gift Bank program, which was designed to bring the joy of toys to children in the care of specialized facilities such as homeless shelters, hospitals and abuse shelters.
Within days of being contacted, Kids Wish Network delivered over $40,000 worth of fantastic gifts for the children in need in and around Fort Bragg. Included in the many gifts that had been generously donated by some of the top toy manufacturers in the country were dolls, books, activity sets, board games, toy train sets, jewelry making kits, plush toys of all shapes and sizes and much, much more.
“We are thrilled to help out with Operation Toy Drive and partner with the U.S. Army,” said Anna Lanzatella, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Development for Kids Wish Network. “It is such an honor for us as an organization and we are always looking for more opportunities to help children in need all over the country. This was a wonderful experience and we look forward to helping out Operation Toy Drive again in the future.”
Kids Wish Network is a national charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. If you know a facility that may benefit from their Holiday of Hope Gift Bank program, please call 727-937-3600 or toll free 888-918-9004. For more information on Kids Wish Network and their unique programs, visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org