Providing Christmas for Military Children

PARAGOULD, AR -- Christmas is creeping up on us and for many families this can be a hard time.  Here in Region 8 we have many members of the military, both active and non-active from all different branches.

Mendy Thomas has three sons that deserve a good Christmas.

"Because the active military pay has stopped Christmas is really hard to supply for our kids this year," said Thomas.

"Those families that have returned are having budgeting problems.  They're not getting the income that they were perhaps getting in Iraq and so every little bit that can be done to bring smiles to the kids, that's what we're here for," said Operation Homefront Representative Carrie MacDonald.

The mission of Operation Homefront is to help the families of military personnel.  For Christmas they have teamed up with Dollar Tree stores to provide presents for kids of military families.

"The Dollar Tree has started a collection point collecting toys.  As people shop we're asking them to drop a toy in the box.  What we've done here at the National Guard Armory is set up a toy store," said MacDonald.

Thomas said she wants her sons to have a good Christmas, saying they've already mailed their wish lists to Santa.

"I've been looking at the tables and there are cars, trucks, guns, army, just everything that's on their lists," said Thomas.

This toy store is free for military families, no matter what branch of the military or what company.

"It's just the thought of somebody trying to help another military family.  It just brings tears to your eyes when somebody calls up and says, 'We want your kids to have this'," said Thomas.

The toy store opens next week at the armory in Paragould.  Donations will be taken through this weekend.

The Operation Homefront toy store opens on Monday, December 10th from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 11th from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturday, December 15th from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

You can contact The chairman for the Arkansas chapter of Operation Homefront at 886-715-7215.