Press Release

December 20, 2001

No. 01-36
(301) 585-4000
Mokie Porter

AVVA Project Friendship and VVA Chapter 628 Receive Donation
Of Clothes, Toys from NBC's  "Today Show"


(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”.

"We are 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 season."

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." 



Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America is a parallel organization of Vietnam Veterans of America,
the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization,
working side by side for the betterment of Vietnam-era veterans, their families, and others.

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