Making a difference: KMC donates toys to Iraqi children

Staff Sgt. M. Davis
Kaiserslautern American editor

Iraqi children may have more to smile about thanks to KMC people who donate toys to “Toys for Iraqi Children.”
The program started with an e-mail, said Tech. Sgt. Eric Wilhelm, 86th Contingency Response Group.
“A deployed security forces member sent an e-mail out asking for toys to give to Iraqi children — many of these children were turning in weapons,” said Sergeant Wilhelm, a Louisville native. “They wanted to give toys to the children to thank and give them something to smile about.”
Collecting toys could be a hectic job, so Sergeant Wilhelm enlisted the help of Ramstein Boy Scouts of Pack #232. The 52 Scouts set up collection points and began manning them.
Eight-year-old Cub Scout, Robert Pruitt, said he was proud to collect toys for a good cause in Iraq.
“It’s nice of the people to donate toys to the Iraqi kids,” said the Ramstein Intermediate School third-grader. “They are helping our Soldiers out by bringing in guns. We can make them happy by giving them toys to play with instead — so they don’t have to worry as much.”
The Pack was asking the community for new and used toys in good condition, sports gear, balls, Frisbees, dolls and stuffed animals — mainly simple toys that didn’t require instructions or batteries, electricity or water. They even accept toys from kids’ value meals.
The plan is to collect as many toys as they can and send them on an aircraft to Kirkuk around May 7, Sergeant Wilhelm said.
“Within six days, the Scouts collected more than 200 new toys,” he said. “Hopefully, we will have enough to fill two pallets to send to Iraq.”
Giving children something to smile about, while taking potentially dangerous weapons off the Iraqi streets is why Sergeant Wilhelm finds the project important.
“Something as small as giving a toy makes a difference in a child’s life,” said the aircraft maintenance flight chief of 14 years. “This also helps take weapons off the street — that’s one less weapon that could kill an Airman or Soldier.”
For more information about the project, visit the Boy Scout Pack 232 Web site at