Rite Aid is partnering with the non-profit organization Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) this year to bring joy to the lives of children who have been impacted by natural disasters, poverty and tragedy. The company is donating 80,000 toys including coloring books, stuffed animals and activity workbooks, which will be distributed across the K.I.D.S. network, with a special emphasis on children in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Ken Martindale, Rite Aid chief operating officer, explained, “One of Rite Aid’s core values is to be a caring neighbor, involved in our communities in meaningful ways. We know that for many families affected by Hurricane Sandy, this holiday season will be unlike any other as they continue to rebuild. We’re hoping our donation helps make the holidays just a little bit brighter for the families and children in New Jersey, New York and beyond.”
Chris Blake, Kids in Distressed Situations senior vice president, described the impact of the Rite Aid donation. "At a recent holiday party for kids living in the Rockaways, one of the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy, we expected 200 children, but almost 1,000 showed up. Some stood in the rain for two hours to get inside the public library where the party was held. For many, these gifts were the only ones they would receive this year. Thanks to Rite Aid’s generous contributions, we were able to send all 1,000 children home with gifts and smiles."
Wherever possible, Rite Aid associates are adding a personal touch to the toy donation. This week, Rite Aid associates appeared as Santa and elves to help distribute the toys at a special children’s holiday party hosted by the Staten Island Council on Child Abuse and Neglect at the Family Resource Center of the Jewish Board for Children and Families.
Rite Aid and K.I.D.S. will also provide toys to partner child-serving agencies across the country including Operation Compassion, The Shelter Partnership in Los Angeles, and the Legacy and VARIETY organizations.