A group in Brevard County is bringing holiday cheer to veterans and their children this year.
- Brevard group collects toys for kids of veterans
- Group has helped more than 4,000 statewide
- Donate, find drop off locations at their Facebook page
Seann Windfield volunteers, along with countless others each Christmas season, to help organize toys for veterans' children.
He’s a veteran himself, serving three tours in Iraq, returning in 2014 to his wife and four kids.
“One bad instance after another, some bad luck and we ended up living at Wickham Park,” said Windfield.
His family of five was living in a tent when he said members of the Gunny Ray Lanese Veterans Kid’s Toy Drive found them and helped.
“They got us into a place and next thing you know it, we’re in a house,” Seann said. “We went from a tent to a house, happened just like that.”
The group even provided their children with Christmas gifts.
“These guys are the three percent of the country," said Robert McKenna, chairman of the toy drive. "They raised their hand, they served for us, they battled and then they returned with hopes and expectations that may not have aspired. So we feel the least we can do is give their children a Christmas.”
Their drive has grown since starting up in 2009. At the beginning, they only served 70 kids in the area. In 2016 they helped more than a 1,000 in Brevard County and more than 4,000 statewide.
Last year they collected more than 13,000 toys. They hope to surpass that this year, and you can help them by picking up a toy and dropping it at one of their many drop off locations throughout the county.
Donations will be collected all the way up to Christmas Eve. Veterans like Windfield hope these acts of goodwill will help give direction to those in need.
“I mean there were times that there was no light at the end of the tunnel — it was just black. But if you take other people’s stories and look at the country we live in, I mean, things can change and things can get better,” Windfield said.
If you’d like donate and find a drop off location closest to you head to their Facebook page.