DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Smiles graced the faces of children of all ages as they enjoyed music, food and fun at the Military Kids Appreciation day here July 8, held in collaboration with Kids Wish Network’s Project Toy Drop.
The 94th Airlift Wing partnered with the national children’s charity to host the event that supported Dobbins military members and their children.
Kids Wish Network brought new toys, educational items, games and other necessities for service members’ children. More than $300,000 worth of items were donated, according to KWN.
“Military members need the support of family members, and the purpose of this event is to support those family members and show them that the Air Force cares for them,” said Angela Pedersen, 94th AW chief of Airman and Family Readiness.
In addition, the children also enjoyed bouncy houses, costumed characters, balloon animals, interactive activities, raffles and games.
Not only did this event benefit family members of deployed service members, but also those who carry the weight of two parents during drill weekends.
“When you have weekends where half of the parent team is gone, the other parent is working that weekend, too, taking care of kids and coordinating activities,” said Aaron Kirchoff, a father of three from Marietta, Ga. “And so, when there are events over drill weekends, it’s helpful for parents at home.”
Over the course of the past year, Dobbins has deployed approximately 450 Airmen, or about a quarter of the wing, in support of overseas operations.
Many of the children attending have deployed parents, so this event was particularly well-timed, Pedersen said.
KWN also recognized the sacrifices military families make and expressed their gratitude to the family members in attendance.
“Today’s event is all about togetherness, bonding and celebrating your beautiful families who have made so many sacrifices, bravely protecting our nation and defending our freedom,” said Tam Lai, Kids Wish Network chief financial officer. “We’re grateful for all that you’ve done and continue to do. Thank you.”