(Washington, DC)--The Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America (AVVA)
and Vietnam Veterans of America's (VVA) Chapter 628 in Princeton, West
Virginia, will receive 3,500 items of clothing, toys, and books for
distribution to needy children from NBC-TV's “The Today Show”.
thrilled by this recognition of Project Friendship by ‘The Today Show,' "
said AVVA national president Nancy Switzer. "This donation will provide
reassurance and optimism to dozens of children during the holiday
The gifts will go to needy children in the West Virginia counties of
Mercer, McDowell, and Wyoming, said Rebecca Beeman Shoemaker, a Chapter
628 director. "Some communities in these counties were ravaged by floods
last summer, and many families lost everything," Shoemaker said.
The merchandise will be transported to VVA Chapter 628 by Sears, Old
Navy, and other retailers. Chapter 628 members will distribute the items
to local charitable agencies such as the Salvation Army, which will give
the items to deserving children, said Elaine Simmons, AVVA's regional
director for West Virginia.
Project Friendship is
a national program of outreach to communities in need. The program,
begun in 1995, has assisted hundreds of children, Montagnard refugees
from Vietnam, and others in the veterans' community.
"AVVA is very pleased to be part of this wonderful project and to work
with NBC and ‘The Today Show,' " Switzer said. "The children in Mercer,
McDowell, and Wyoming counties will have a brighter Christmas because of
this cooperative effort."