PANAMA CITY, FL. (January 2018): Children’s charity Kids Wish Network, brought its 18th Project Toy Drop to Tyndall Air Force Base. This special celebration included 3 holiday themed events that sparkled with joy and cheer. Kids Wish Network donated a retail value of $240,000 in new toys, educational products, games, clothing and other necessity items to children of families in the military. Gift stations brimming with stacks of fun merchandise created wonder and excitement… kids went from table to table filling big bags with all their favorite things. Select children also received an extraordinary surprise. Kids Wish Network also purchased and gifted new bikes, donating an additional $2,000 of merchandise to this heartwarming military celebration.
“We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work with Kids Wish Network,” said Tyndall Air Force Base Exceptional Family Member Coordinator Shannon Scott. “The families at the events were in awe of the generosity and dedication that Kids Wish Network displayed. Seeing their little faces light up was priceless!”
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. Project Toy Drop travels the country, creating miles of smiles for deserving children ages 3-16 who are either kids of American service men and women, or at-risk youth facing significant challenges.
“We’re greatly honored to create so much happiness for these children dealing with lots of extra stresses which are magnified during the holidays,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Tam Lai. “We know it’s a difficult time for many military kids, especially if a parent is deployed and unable to celebrate as a family.”
Pilot Freight Services and A&O Logistics graciously collaborated in donating their services, transporting all the merchandise from California to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
PALATKA, Fla. – Holiday, FL-based children’s charity Kids Wish Network delivered toys and necessities to children living with poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect and illnesses in Palatka in Putnam County, Florida through the Kids Wish Network Holiday of Hope On Tour program with help from Megatrux, Inc.
“There is something truly magical about watching young faces light up during our On Tour events. Being able to provide necessities for children facing difficult circumstances is an honor and a privilege,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella, who participated in the event. “By getting local city and county officials involved with the Kids Wish Network On Tour event, we are creating a sustainable connection between these leaders and the young children in their community as well as hope for a better future.”
Through the generous assistance of shipping giant Megatrux, Inc., a truck emblazoned with the Kids Wish Network On Tour logo rolled into Palatka filled with gift bags enough for 2,000 at-risk children living in Putnam County. With the cooperation of the Putnam County School District, at-risk children and their families gathered at Palatka High School, Interlachen High School, and Crescent City Junior/Senior High School to receive their gift bags during a day of fun festivities.
At Palatka High School, the event kicked off with opening speeches from Palatka Mayor Vernon Myers and Lanzatella. Also present were Putnam County Sheriff Jeff Hardy, Homeless Liaison for Putnam County Schools Courtney Carter, uniformed police officers, and other Putnam County School District officials.
Each family received gift bags for their children and teens that were stuffed full of a variety of toys, educational products, baby items, and other brand new gifts from Kids Wish Network’s long list of “Guardian Angel” donors.
“I was awestruck with this wonderful, wonderful event,” said Palatka Mayor Vernon Myers. “Having not participated before, I had no idea what to expect and I was just amazed by it. Everything was great: the organization, what it entailed, and, most importantly, the quantity of gifts given to benefit our children. I thought it was absolutely wonderful. There was a lot of joy in our community and the City of Palatka truly thanks Kids Wish Network.”
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making the event in Putnam County such a success: Putnam County School District, Kids Wish Network Board Member Andrew M. Gottlieb, Arnold & Joy Gottlieb Family Foundation, Mark & Shelley Breiner, Megatrux, Inc., Angel’s Diner, Backwoods Smokehouse, Beef O’ Brady’s, Bruno’s NY Style Pizza, Chili’s, Comfort Suites at World Golf Village, Corky Bell’s Seafood & Steaks at Gator Landing, Crystal Cove Resort, Golden Corral, Grande Villas at World Golf Village – Bluegreen Resort, Huddle House, L & D Food for the Soul, M&LM Inc. McDonald’s of Interlachen, Nana’s Café, Palmeras Restaurant, Pepsi Beverages Company – Palatka, Quiznos, Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Beach Club, River Pub Italian Grill, Walmart – Palatka, Winn-Dixie – Crescent City, and Winn-Dixie – Palatka.