“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.
Check out Project Toy Drop in the news!!
DANVILLE, Ill. – Tampa-based children’s charity Kids Wish Network and partner Megatrux, Inc. has delivered more than $120,000 in toys and necessities to children living with poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect and illnesses in Danville, Illinois through its Kids Wish Network On Tour program.
“Our On Tour events give us the opportunity to travel to cities across the country to help bring resources to children and families facing difficult circumstances,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “These events are more than just the chance to deliver toys and necessities – they help strengthen the bonds between city officials and communities. We love to see a child’s face light up with joy as they are handed a gift bag by their mayor, a uniformed police officer, or a firefighter.”
A Kids Wish Network On Tour truck, sponsored by Megatrux, Inc. rolled into Danville, Illinois last weekend packed to the brim with more than $120,000 worth of necessities, toys, educational products and other items from Kids Wish Network’s treasured “Guardian Angel” donors to be given to at-risk children dealing with adversities such as poverty, illnesses, and homelessness. Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer kicked off the event with a heartfelt speech explaining the city’s appreciation for Kids Wish Network’s much-needed assistance. He also presented Executive Director Anna Lanzatella with a mayoral proclamation as a token of gratitude from the city of Danville.
“I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the Kids Wish Network On Tour and the emotional uplift they provided the children in this community,” said Mayor Scott Eisenhauer. “It truly was better than a Christmas morning as I watched families who struggle daily making ends meet ‘light up’ as their kids were handed a bag of toys – sometimes larger than them. The event also allowed our city police, fire, staff, and leaders to see firsthand the joy and comfort a single gesture can bring in the lives of those burdened by poverty. For both the givers and receivers, it was a day of inspiration and motivation that would never have been possible without the efforts of Kids Wish Network On Tour.”
Mayor Eisenhauer and a great number of local city officials, police officers and firefighters all pitched in to make sure that each and every child present received a gift bag. Throughout the day, over 1,000 at-risk children and their families attended; every child left with their arms full of toys and necessities, while their parents went home with smiles on their faces and appreciation in their hearts.
Danville, Il Mayoral Proclamation
Kids Wish Network would like to thank the following for making the event in Danville such a success: City of Danville, IL, First Presbyterian Church, Megatrux, Inc., Andrew M. Gottlieb, Arnold & Joy Gottlieb Family Foundation, Mark & Shelley Breiner, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Danville Days Hotel & Restaurant, Dunkin Donuts, El Toro, Hampton Inn & Suites Danville, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Danville, Holiday Inn Express, Indianapolis, Little Caesars, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, Papa John’s Pizza, Royal Donut, Sam’s Club, Save A Lot, Starbucks Coffee, Stone Creek Dining Company, Indianapolis, Subway, and Wiener Works.