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Contact:  Adrienne Appell
646.520.4863
aappell@toyassociation.org

Toy Industry Foundation Delivers Smiles to Hundreds of Children at U.S. Coast Guard Base in Puerto Rico

 Toy Giveaway Made Possible Through Partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services

Aguadilla, Puerto Rico | September 14, 2012 – Children in military families make many sacrifices, which is why on Thursday, hundreds of children of U.S. Coast Guardsmen stationed at Air Station Borinquen got something back – the gift of toys and play – thanks to the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services. 

Nearly 250 boys and girls living on the base picked out their very own toys on September 13th during a family carnival complete with games, bouncy houses, and a barbeque dinner.  Teens on the base lent a hand as volunteers to help younger children choose the perfect playthings from a variety of brand new stuffed animals, dolls, games, as well as science kits, costumes, and DVDs.

“Due to moves from base to base and concerns about their parents’ safety, these resilient children face a great deal of stress at a young age,” said Jean Butler, Executive Director, Toy Industry Foundation.  “By sharing toys, we allow them to play freely and remind them to smile, laugh, and have fun!”

“It is comforting to know the Toy Industry Foundation has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to offer toys for the youth of those who are Active Duty.  Military children often endure long deployments during which parents are away from home,” said Blair Markham, a father and military member station at Borinquen.  “In the absence of a parent, a toy can help bring emotional stability during extended periods of time.  The generosity of this grant will certainly be enjoyed by the youth of this overseas military installation.  As a retired military Chief Petty officer, and the Director of Morale, Well-being, and Recreation, I would like to personally thank TIF for their support!”    

The event, made possible by the Play Comforts partnership between the Toy Industry Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services, gave families far from their homes on the mainland relief from the stress of military living during this time of conflict.  Overall, TIF has provided over 200,000 toys to BGCA for children on military bases over the last three years and will have brought play into the lives of families on 65 total bases by the end of 2012.

“BGCA is extremely proud and committed to our military families.  The partnership with the Toy Industry Foundation provides an opportunity to say thank you to the families and service members for their service and sacrifice with a gift of toys to our military youth,” said Terrill Wicks, BGCA VP, Military Services & International Projects.

Through the Play Comforts partnership, toys donated to TIF’s Toy Bank by generous toy makers and merchants are delivered year-round to U.S. military installations at home and abroad.  Companies interested in making a contribution should visit www.thetoybank.org.   

Gifts distributed at the event were generously donated to TIF by the following toy companies:  Buffalo Games, DuneCraft, Every Baby Company, GUND, Hasbro, LEGO, Mattel, Maxim, Small World Toys, Squishable.com, Uncle Skunkle Toys, Wonder Forge, and Wyla Inc.