FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kristin Morency  /  Angela Richmond
Toy Industry Association  /  Boys & Girls Clubs of America
646.454.5582  /  404.487.5813
kmorency@toyassociation.org / arichmond@bgca.org

Fort Bliss Military Families Receive Thousands of New Toys from Toy Indsutry Foundation

TIF and Partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services Host “Day of Play” for Military Families

Military familiesEl Paso, TX | April 17, 2013 – Nearly 3,000 children living with their families on military base Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas were treated to a special toy giveaway on April 17th hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services

Families stationed at Fort Bliss, as well as resident members of the Air Force, Marines, National Reserves and others, enjoyed a light-hearted “Day of Play” that included bouncy houses and games, music and entertainment, and a pizza party.  To cap off the event, children of all ages enthusiastically received brand new toys, games and stuffed animals donated by generous toy manufacturers from across the nation. 

“Life on a military base is difficult for families, especially for those living in underserved communities,” said Jean Butler, Executive Director of the Toy Industry Foundation.  “The Foundation is proud to come here, provide toys, and unite these deserving families through play.” 

“Military life can be extremely difficult for children who, on average, relocate six to nine times between kindergarten and graduation and who must balance the challenges of adolescence with the frequent deployments of their parents,” said Terrill Wicks, National Vice President of Military & Outreach Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Few things can relieve these stresses like the joy of fun and play, and we are thrilled to have a partner like Toy Industry Foundation to help share that magic with military youth across the globe.”

"Since our spouses are deployed so often, many of us go through each day as if we were a single parent," said Laura Wilson, whose husband is an S3 Sargent Major of 4-1.  "All of our children sacrifice a great deal.  When they get these toys, it tells them that someone is thinking about them.  That means a lot."

The event was held as part of the joint TIF / BGCA Play Comforts program – the first-ever national toy distribution initiative to serve every branch of the U.S. military.  Through Play Comforts, toys and games donated by caring toy companies are delivered on an annual basis to families on dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. Now in its fourth year of operation, the program has provided more than $3.5 million in toys for children of military families.

Gifts distributed at this event were generously donated by ALEX, DuneCraft, GANZ, Gibout Toys, Hasbro, Lee Magic Pen, LEGO, Look Out World, Mattel, MindWare, RBI Toys, Reeves International, Safari Ltd., and TMI Toy Marketing International.

Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is a non-profit 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.

Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA)    (www.bgca.org)
For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs have helped put young people on the path to great futures. Boys & Girls Clubs annually serve nearly 4 million young people, through membership and community outreach, in some 4,000 Club facilities throughout the country and BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations. Boys & Girls Clubs provide 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. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.