DC Chapter Highlighted on WAMU 88.5
There are many holiday toy drives underway around the region,
and at least one effort is explicitly targeted to benefit the children of
America's servicemen and women.
Operation Homefront provides programs and
services to help low-income military families. This holiday season, the
non-profit is collecting new toys from more than 60 locations around the
region, which will end up under the Christmas trees of many kids in military
"Operation Homefront serves low and mid-grade ranks, E1
through E6. That means they earn a base wage of $18,000 and $28,000 a year,"
says Cyndi Lucas, head of community outreach. "So in this area, you can
imagine, that doesn't go very far."
At a toy sorting facility in Sterling
Virginia, volunteers are dividing toy into groups by gender and age even
grouping types of toys.
Volunteer Tina Flores served in the military. She
says she's seen what a difference these toys can make for children of military
families at Christmastime.
"I can imagine the looks on their faces,
because some of those kids don't get very much for Christmas and then their
parents are sometimes deployed at Christmas," Flores says. "There's so many
things that they deal with that people don't have any concept of."
Volunteers are welcome, and toys and cash donations are always in need.