MEREDITH SOPHOMORE AWARDED $10,000 CHECK ON SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL SHOW
(Raleigh, NC) Christy Sanderson, president and founder of Operation Toy Box,
Publishers' Clearing House (PCH)
"Good as Gold" award during a
February 17 taping of the
Sally Jessy Raphael Show. The program, titled
"Have I Got A Surprise For You!" will air Friday, March 19.
How It All Began
In September of 1995, WRAL-TV presented a story of the destruction that
Hurricane Marilyn caused in the US Virgin Islands. There was not a building
left untouched by this devastating storm, leaving most families with nothing.
What sparked the idea to help, was seeing a young boy, blowing a little
whistle while pushing a cart with a salvaged toy truck inside. As he
struggled to get over a pile of rubble, he turned back to look at the
camera and smiled. To think the discovery of these two toys could bring
such a big smile to this small child's face was heart wrenching. This
child's treasures soon became the objects which sparked the idea of
Operation Toy Box.
While the U.S. Corps Command Support Units were sent in to provide people
with the basic necessities for survival, Operation Toy Box became the
embodiment of putting a smile on the faces of young victims of that
With the help of many friends, Operation Toy Box became the vehicle
for a collection of new and/or good used toys, books, games, puzzles,
videos, etc. Wake County Food Lion stores, local churches, middle schools,
high schools, and a day care were all designated as collection sites. Two
organizations donated cash support, and on December 16, 1995,
almost 6,000 toys and like items were shipped, in 76 boxes, compliments
of US Air, to the kids in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
All used toys are repaired and sanitized before they are
Congressman Victor Frazer, territorial Representative, supplied Operation
Toy Box personnel with demographic information, while the Bishop of St.
Thomas, Elliott G. Thomas, agreed to organize the distribution of the toys.
Since that disaster, Operation Toy Box has provided additional toys
to children suffering the effects of a disaster. During these efforts,
personnel from the
Triangle Area Chapter of the
American Red Cross formed
an alliance with Operation Toy Box to provide toys through
American Red Cross operations
active both within and without of the State of North Carolina. The most
notable of these was the mid-west floods of 1997, when they organized a
five county toy collection, and received over 10,000 items in four days.
N.C. Box donated boxes, and Roadway Express, Inc. donated transportation.
Both businesses are out of Raleigh, NC.
In September 1997, Operation Toy Box received its 501(c)(3) status from the
IRS making all donations tax-deductible. In December 1997, we signed a
"Statement of Understanding" with the American Red Cross State Service Council
of North Carolina making it possible to coordinate the donation of toys and
like items through the ARC to children in need of emotional and physical
support following the devastation of both "single family disasters" as well as
disasters affecting multiple families. This agreement will also make it
possible to coordinate joint efforts far beyond the state relief and
Operation Toy Box, Inc. is dedicated to provision of appropriate
new and gently used toys to children, 12 and under, who have been affected
by disaster; andr/or to missions and shelters.
Operation Toy Box, Inc. is an independent, volunteer lead, nonprofit,
501(c)(3) charitable organization without any religious, political or
national affiliations. Funds go directly to office and inventory maintenance
and to the cost of preserving the integrity of our programs.
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