FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Adrienne Appell / Jetaun Adkins
Toy Industry Association / Boys & Girls Clubs of America
 646.520.4863 / 404.487.5945
 aappell@toyassociation.org / jadkins@bgca.org

New Toys Delivered to Hundreds of Children Living at U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma 

Toy Industry Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Treat Military Families to “Day of Play”

Petaluma, CA | June 5, 2014 – Hundreds of children and their families living at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma, CA were gifted with brand new toys and games today (June 5) during a special toy giveaway hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services.

In addition to participating in a fun-filled “Day of Play,” which included a live DJ and magic show, arts and crafts and more, every child in attendance got to take home a brand new toy, choosing from a selection of games, puzzles, stuffed animals, and other items donated by generous toy companies to The Toy Bank, TIF’s signature giving program.

“Toys bring happiness and laughter into the stressful lives of military children, who often move from base to base and face the possibility of having one or both parents deployed overseas at any time,” said Jean Butler, Toy Industry Foundation Executive Director. “We hope that the playthings provided will comfort these deserving children and reassure them that they have not been forgotten.”

“Through our service to almost 500,000 youth on U.S. military installations, we see firsthand how difficult military life can be for children who must balance the challenges of adolescence with the frequent deployments of their parents,” said Terrill Wicks, national vice president, Military & Outreach Services, BGCA. “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.”

"The base is in transfer season, so new families are coming onto the base. This is a great welcome for them into the community," said Manny Jones, E6 and father of Emmanuel (age 7) and Elijah (10 months).

Added Rachel Williams, wife of Chief Steven Williams and mother of Brianna (12) and Tristan (13): “I wish people understood how hard it is. We move every three years, and my husband was deployed when our children were babies, so he missed a lot of that time with them.”

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 U.S. military installations at home and abroad.  In 2014, the program will reach a total of 50 bases.  Since 2009, Play Comforts has brought more than 300,000 toys valued at $4.3 million to military families on over 120 U.S. military bases around the world. 

Gifts distributed at this event were generously donated to the Toy Industry Foundation’s Toy Bank by AbraKIDabra, Barnes and Noble, Big Time Toys, DuneCraft, Green Toys, GUND, LEGO, Masterpieces Puzzle Co., and Safari Ltd. 

ABOUT TOY INDUSTRY FOUNDATION    (www.toyindustryfoundation.org) 
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is a non-profit organization whose mission it is to bring joy, comfort, and learning to children in need through play.  The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the Toy Industry Foundation. The first industry-wide program of its kind, The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.

ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA    (www.bgca.org)
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has helped kids "Be Great," providing hope and opportunity for those who need it most. Today, more than 3,900 Clubs throughout the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide serve some 4.1 million young people age 6-18 years old through Club membership and community outreach.