Freedom Fest – East Moline, IL 2017
“We were able to reach out to an incredible number of families that could use the extra assistance… Our reach was huge with Kids Wish Network behind us.”
EAST MOLINE, IL. (August 2017): Children’s charity Kids Wish Network, brought its 17th Project Toy Drop event to East Moline on August 19, teaming up with Phoenix Body Solutions at the City’s annual Freedom Fest. Kids Wish Network President David Clevenger hosted Project Toy Drop, and transformed his wellness center into a child’s dream come true… a pop-up toy store of gift stations brimming with stacks of fun merchandise. Over $300,000 worth of new toys, educational items, games, and other necessities were distributed to local children in need.
Kids chose from a wide variety of gifts, filling up bags with all their favorite things. Some other highlights included opening ceremonies presented by East Moline Mayor Reggie Freeman, shirts being distributed into the crowd via a T-shirt launcher, and the gifting of 16 bikes courtesy of Kids Wish Network, acquired through a Walmart grant. Several special families in need were pre-selected by the City of East Moline to receive bikes.
One bike recipient’s family had been struggling to recover after her dad’s recent return to work following a layoff, and her mom’s battle with cancer. She hoped to receive a bike for her birthday. “We were able to make her wish come true thanks to the Walmart grant and Kids Wish Network,” said East Moline Main Street President Patricia Hansen. “Having Kids Wish Network’s Project Toy Drop is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to offer this to our community. Talking to families and hearing their stories was so very heartbreaking and yet rewarding to be able to help them.”
Starting out as a wish granting organization that creates memorable wishes for children with life threatening illnesses, Kids Wish Network has expanded over the years to include additional programs, reaching out to even more children in need of something special in their lives.
Project Toy Drop travels the country, creating miles of smiles, gifting new toys, games, clothing, and other much-needed items to deserving children ages 3-16 who are either kids of American service men and women, or at-risk youth facing significant challenges such as homelessness, abuse, neglect, abandonment, and physical or mental challenges. Whether for children of military families, or at-risk youth, this program creates a special day of memories and unity that brings happiness and hope to so many deserving children and their families.
“We were able to reach out to an incredible number of families that could use the extra assistance, and also donate to children’s hospitals, military organizations, and a brand new alternative school,” said Patricia Hansen. “Our reach was huge with Kids Wish Network behind us.”
“Each Project Toy Drop is special to us and touches our hearts,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “We’re honored to bring so much happiness and hope to deserving children in East Moline.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank Phoenix Body Solutions, the City of East Moline – Mayor Reggie Freeman, Partricia Hansen and East Moline Main Street, Jumer’s Casino and Hotel, Walmart Davenport (IA Store #1241, Papa John’s, Intellect USA, Green Chevrolet, Thunder Bay Grille, Ken Kurry Construction Inc., WHBF and Hola America, for their generosity. Also our heartfelt thanks to Central Transport for their continued partnership and graciousness in helping to deliver miles of smiles to deserving children throughout the country.