SuperParent Holiday Toy program helps military families - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

SuperParent Holiday Toy program helps military families

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Armed Services YMCA San Diego (ASY San Diego) will be celebrating the holidays in honor of military heroes at the 27th Annual SuperParent Holiday Toy Program Wednesday.

This festive 'superhero' themed event, presented by the Spiva Family Foundation, honors San Diego's brave active duty moms and dads. Making daily sacrifices to protect justice and the freedom of this nation, these military heroes certainly are SuperParents.

This holiday program is specifically designed to "give back" and thank these deserving parents for their brave service and empower them as superheroes in the eyes of their children. This year, ASY San Diego plans to serve at least 900 families by distributing over 5,000 toys. During the holiday season, stretching paychecks can be a challenge for military personnel. This hardship can place an extra stressful burden on junior enlisted families with children.

Family bonds are also stressed due to deployment and can be especially painful during the holidays. The lack of special family bonding time can take a toll on all members of the family. As part of the Armed Services YMCA's commitment to making military life easier, the SuperParent Holiday Toy Program is held to ensure that military children receive holiday cheer, while simultaneously showing support and appreciation for their SuperParents.

With more than 1,400 applicants for 900 spots, the financial need is quite significant for many junior-enlisted families. "The holidays can often be a tough time financially for the military. We've been here for the past 27 years to help make their holiday magical no matter what hardships they may face," said Executive Director CAPT Paul Steffens, USN (Ret.). "It is all about saying thank you and giving these parents the chance to provide not just one, but two, brand new toys for each of their children. It truly gives them the opportunity to be a superhero in their children's' eyes on Christmas morning."

Dressed in the spirit of the holidays, SuperParents line up early in the morning for their chance to shop for gifts. Christmas trees line the walkways, a live DJ plays festive music, and falling snow awaits them. When the event begins, a personal volunteer shopper will escort them through "Santa's Toy Shop" to help them pick just the right gifts for their children. This festively decorated toy room is stocked with hundreds of this season's hottest toys for all ages. From shopping all the way to package valet and car toy drop-off, these parents are honored and thanked for their selfless service to this nation.

More than 50 volunteers, including military personnel, come together to make this event magical. All toys and gift cards given away at this program are donated by generous community members. Thanks to sponsors like the Spiva Family Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Rotary Club 33, and the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OBMAC), hundreds of military parents will be able to provide something special under the tree for over 2,000 military children this Christmas.

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