July 14, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Over 1,000 Beanie Babies will be distributed through Spirit of America projects to bring smiles to children in war-torn Afghanistan, thanks to the efforts of Parkway Middle School children, Fletcher Hills Kiwanis Club, and local author Diana Lindsay. Lindsay, author of guide books on the Anza Borrego desert, is also the mother of Lt. Commander Jon Lindsay, a former Spirit of America volunteer.
The beanie babies were collected by the Parkway Middle School’s Kiwanis Builder's Club in La Mesa under the guidance of teacher Bruce Chase. Members of the Fletcher Hills Kiwanis Club, including retired Lt .Commander Jack Stangle, packed the beanies in 25 boxes so they can easily be sent overseas.
Beanies babies are extremely popular with children in the countries where Spirit of America works, since many of these children have very limited access to toys of any kind. “We are so grateful for this donation and look forward to getting these "loveys" to the children,” a post at Spirit of America’s blog site reads.
The organization also posted a note received from 1st Sergeant Michael Perez with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines in Afghanistan.
“Chief Petty Officer Ebiya recently provided some much needed medical care for the local Afghan children of Koshtay, Afghanistan,” he wrote. After providing medical care for the children, Ebiya gave the youngsters Beanie Babies provided by Spirit of America. The chidren were “delighted and grateful for the support,” Perez reported.