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Goal of 'Operation Holiday Joy' stays the same despite pandemic

Posted at 12:49 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 15:49:48-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – An annual toy giveaway for San Diego military families looked different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the reason for the event remains the same.

For this year’s Operation Holiday Joy, the San Diego Armed Services YMCA chose hundreds of local military families who needed a little extra help this holiday season.

On Wednesday, at the Murphy Canyon Chapel on Santo Road, the YMCA handed out boxes of gift-wrapped toys, and even bicycles, to more than 1,000 kids.

Families were given books, a mini Christmas tree, and a gift card.

Tim Ney, executive director of the San Diego Armed Services YMCA, said that now more than ever it’s important to support military families, as they too must deal with the additional challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“Spouse employment is 30 percent, it’s really high. The online education and we’re doing the Achievement Academy where we’re taking the kids during the day. And doing the online learning, then we do STEM activities with them afterwards,” said Ney.

It’s a little bit of extra help these military families are extremely thankful for.

Emily, who is a military wife, told ABC 10News, “We’re so grateful and we’re thankful and blessed that everyone is so generous to give military families support, especially during this pandemic. This COVID … it’s really a hard year, so it’s really a big help for the kids and the parents.”