Toy Industry Foundation Brings Fun and Play to Hundreds of Children at Florida Naval Base

June 22, 2012 | More than 400 boys and girls living on Naval Air Station Key West were treated to a special toy giveaway on June 20th by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services.  The fun-filled day brought toys, games and laughter to families stationed at the base, providing some relief to the kids whose parents bravely serve our country.

As the children and their parents at the Naval Air Station know, military life is difficult.  For an entire day, these families left their worries behind as they chose toys from among an array of brand new playthings including games, stuffed animals, books and dolls at a “Toys in Paradise”-themed giveaway featuring “Santa Claus,” music and more. [View photos from the event] 
The TIF/BGCA Play Comforts partnership, now in its third year of operation, is the first-ever national toy distribution program to serve every branch of the military.  TIF has provided more than 200,000 toys to BGCA for children on military bases since the partnership launched in 2010.

“Many military parents thank us for the toys we hand out at our giveaway events,” said Jean Butler, Executive Director, Toy Industry Foundation.  “But this is our way of thanking them – for the sacrifices they make for our freedom and safety, and for the sacrifices their families make as well.”

“We are proud to partner with the Toy Industry Foundation.  Their support and generous donations always put a smile on the faces of the military connected youth we serve,” said Terrill D. Wicks, Vice President of Military Operations, BGCA.

Added Jesus Claudio, a USMC Major on the base and father of three:  “We are recognized all the time for our service, but the kids are the real heroes. They are giving up time with their moms and dads and sometimes they don’t know if or when they will return.  I’m grateful for events like these that make the kids smile.”

Through the Play Comforts partnership, toys donated to TIF’s Toy Bank by generous toymakers and merchants are delivered year-round to U.S. military installations at home and abroad.   By the close of 2012, the partnership will have brought play to 65 bases.

Gifts distributed at the Key West event were generously donated by aNb Media, The Bridge Direct, Cardinal Games, Demos Toy Company, Just Play, Kendama USA, LEGO, Moebius Models, Patch Products, Prestige Toy, Safari Ltd., Schoenhut Piano Co., Toyops,  Uncle Skunkle Toys, USAopoly, and Wyla Inc.