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Kim Johnson ReportingA Utah national guardsman who calls himself "Chief Wiggles" wants to bring smiles to the children of Iraq. His efforts to gather toys for Iraqi kids has now mushroomed into a nationwide toy drive.
It all began when "Chief Wiggles" shared a story on his web journal about finding a poor Iraqi girl crying because she was separated from her mother. He says he tried to comfort the little girl. He even went back to his office, found a toy monkey, a whistle and a toothbrush for the child, and says her eyes lit up with joy at receiving the gifts.
The response to that journal entry was so overwhelming that in a month's time "operation give", a non-profit venture was born. Toys started flowing to Iraq, so much so that the distribution got bogged down.
Organizers hope to have an address for shipments this week. They have lined warehouse space and volunteers to operate it in Baltimore, MD, as well as arrangements to ship the material to Kuwait, and then on to Iraq.
Now one of Chief Wiggles most enthusiastic supporters is Gail Halvorsen of Spanish Fork. Halverson is known around the world as the "Candy Bomber". During the World War II Berlin airlift, Halvorsen flew over the war-torn city and dropped parachutes filled with candy and gum for the German children.
During the World War II Berlin airlift Halvorsen flew over the war-torn city and dropped parachutes filled with candy and gum for the German children.
If you’d like to help “Chief Wiggles”, follow the link to his web site. You'll find a list of suggestions for toys, as well as a list of toys that should NOT be sent. There's also a list of necessities: toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss, brushes, combs, underwear and socks and flip-flops that fit kids between the ages of three and 18.
The kids also need school supplies. Send markers and colored pencils instead of crayons, which will melt.
If you'd like to send cash donations, the website will tell you how to proceed. There's also a good deal of information if businesses want to become a sponsor of “operation give”.