This summer over 20,000 toys will be donated to children of Central Indiana families by the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, in partnership with leading U.S. toy and consumer products company, JAKKS Pacific. The effort is supported by the Indiana National Guard in a project called, “Summer Christmas.” In December, additional toys will be given out to more families and charities for the holiday season.
The Pacers and Fever have been working with the National Guard and various civic and community partners to distribute the toys. Among the groups receiving toys this summer are the National Guard; the Indianapolis Children’s Museum; Christel House Academy; Indiana Members Credit Union and IPS #44; Community Health Network; Tamika Catchings’ Catch the Stars Foundation; Ben Davis Christian Church/McClelland Elementary School and Riley Children’s Hospital among others.
“Through the pure generosity of my friend, Stephen Berman, of JAKKS Pacific, we have been able to help many of our fellow citizens with these toys,” said Herb Simon, owner of the Pacers and Fever. “To put a smile on the face of a child is one of the greatest things anyone could ever do. We are very grateful to Stephen and all the great folks at JAKKS Pacific for this opportunity.”
“Giving back to the community has always been important to Herb Simon,” said Stephen Berman, President and CEO of JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “We all remember how special toys were to us when we were young and we are honored to help him give back to the Indiana community!”
“We are very grateful for the kindness of our Pacers, our Fever, the Indiana National Guard and JAKKS Pacific for brightening the lives of so many of our kids,” said Kirshawndra Davis, Principal of IPS School 44, which received 1000 toys through its association with the Indiana Members Credit Union at a ceremony at the school Wednesday involving Pacers star George Hill and coach Frank Vogel. “IMCU is always first to help us and this gesture of free toys for our kids will help in motivating them to be better students and better people.”
“For a few years now we have been honored to work alongside JAKKS Pacific, the Pacers and the Fever in making toys available to those who really need them,” said Indiana National Guard Brig. General Joe Osburn. “The toys have brought comfort, relief and hope to many of our own National Guard families.” Osburn joined Vogel and Hill at the IPS ceremony Wednesday which included IMCU President Ron Collier, IPS officials and Principal Davis. Boomer, Freddy Fever and the Boom Babies were also on hand to greet the students.
JAKKS Pacific, one of the top five United States toy companies, is a California-based company that has been designing, developing, producing and marketing toys and consumer products for children and adults around the world since 1985. JAKKS Cares is the philanthropic arm of JAKKS Pacific and since inception has donated over $50 million in toys, school supplies and monetary endowments to millions of underprivileged children around the world.