FORT BRAGG, N.C. - More than 200 military children joined Families United for Our Troops and Toys for Tots in Fayetteville, N.C. Sunday, to pick out gifts for the children of deployed Soldiers.

This special event invited children throughout the community to experience the joy of giving by allowing them to select a gift to be given to a military child in need through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

In return, the participating children received a goody bag and a morning of holiday fun.
"Families United is honored to sponsor this one of a kind shopping spree for military children," said Brian Wise, executive director for Families United.

"At Families United we are all too familiar with the absence of a loved one, but we also recognize that military service is a Family affair. This event allows the children of those who bravely serve this country to continue that service in their own community."

Toys for Tots donated 227 toys collected during the event to children of Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade who are currently deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The gifts were accepted by Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander, Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corps, and Lt. Col. Robert Agans, commander, 3rd Bn., 27th FA.

Volunteers from the battalion, the semi-pro football team the Carolina Cougars and other volunteer organizations were on hand to help.

"I am out here volunteering for the Fort Bragg kids. I would do anything for the kids," said Pfc. Sidney Parker, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Bn., 27th FA.

Toys for Tots organizers were also impressed by the turnout and the support.
"Toys for Tots would like to thank Families United for their generosity and relentless commitment to serving our military and their Families. Without the donations from organizations like Families United, Toys for Tots would not be capable of reaching millions of children every year.

Toys for Tots looks forward to working with the Families United team for many years to come," said Christine Gregory, Toys for Tots coordinator for Cumberland and Harnett County, N.C.