Holiday, FL – While fulfilling their mission to spread joy and create happy memories for children across the United States, national children’s charity Kids Wish Network donated approximately $130,000 worth of toys and gifts to the CSX Corporation’s “Santa Train” to be distributed among the thousands of impoverished children of the Appalachian Mountains.
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation’s leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck trainload services. The company’s transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles, with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports.
In an unbelievable act of boundless generosity, CSX has conducted a charitable event for the people of the Appalachian Mountains called the “Santa Train” every year for 67 years. The other sponsors of this wonderful event are Food City supermarkets and the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
This “Santa Train” is an actual train that is loaded with toys, gifts, food and volunteers that travels through the Appalachian Mountains from Shelby, Kentucky to Kingsport, Tennessee. From the train, these toys, gifts and food are delivered into the hands of the needy children who live in these isolated areas.
The “Santa Train” is a highly anticipated event for the impoverished families of the Appalachians and it has also become a beloved and great American tradition that is being passed down from generation to generation.
This year, CSX reached out to national children’s charity Kids Wish Network for help with securing the toys and gifts to provide for the children served by the “Santa Train.” Through their network of “Guardian Angels” that includes some of the nation’s leading manufacturers and distributors, Kids Wish Network provided the CSX “Santa Train” with a donation of assorted toys and presents worth approximately $130,000.
In addition to the presents, Kids Wish Network also sent a representative named Ashley to help out with the event.
“I was extremely touched by the whole experience of this trip and very proud to be there representing Kids Wish Network. It was a real pleasure to meet and be amongst so many kind people who were there volunteering their time to help reach out to needy children,” said Ashley.
The joy of the children who came to meet the “Santa Train” was evident in the absolute radiance coming from their smiles; their eyes just lit up when they saw Santa riding along on the back of the train. To see the excitement that was expressed by the kids and to experience the gladly anticipatory spirit of the thousands of children lined up awaiting the arrival of the “Santa Train” was like viewing a glimpse of “true Americana.”
According to Ashley, “Being on the ground and seeing the faces of the children first hand made me realize that we really have made a difference in the lives of these children this holiday season. My first toy to hand out on the ground was to a cute little 4 or 5-year-old girl; her face was so full of disbelief that she looked at me twice to make sure the toy was hers to keep and then she ran to her mother with delighted screams of joy.”
Because of this “Santa Train,” over 5,000 deserving children will have a little bit more with which to celebrate the holiday season this year. By this event alone, CSX has helped to create a lasting new holiday tradition for the families of the Appalachians.
If your company manufactures or distributes any toys, gifts, games, accessories, electronics or anything else geared towards children and teenagers, please contact Kids Wish Network’s Distribution Center. Any help would be tremendously appreciated! Kids Wish Network is happy to announce that all donated items will be shipped via free freight within the United States. For more information, please call (727) 937-3600 or toll free at (888) 918-9004.
For more information on Kids Wish Network please visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org. If you would like to donate merchandise, please call 727- 937-3600 or toll free at 888-918-9004.