‘Stuff a Truck’ Event to Help Replenish Gifts Lost in Base Fire

base fireHYANNIS – An organization that supports local military families is looking for help from the community to fill an Army truck full of toys on Saturday.

The Cape Cod Military Support Foundation is teaming with Cape Cod Beer to hold a “Stuff a Truck” event to replenish a stockpile of toys for 800 children and teens lost in a recent warehouse fire at Joint Base Cape Cod.

The foundation is looking for new toys for children ages 3 to 12 and gift cards for teens, along with holiday decorations.

Foundation Founder and President Don Cox said he had already gathered about 70 percent of the gifts and supplies needed for the annual Operation Santa holiday party on December 11 before the October 28 fire.

“The outpouring of support we have received from the businesses and this community has been overwhelming,” Cox said.

The “Stuff a Truck” event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cape Cod Beer on Phinney’s Lane in Hyannis.

“I made a commitment the day I was interviewed by the TV networks that there would be a party on December 11 and kids would be able to come to the gym and there would be gifts and toys for them,” Cox said. “And I can honestly say right now that we are going to fulfill that commitment.”

Gift donations for the party are also being accepted at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility and at Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod locations.

Cox said the fire destroyed everything the foundation had.

“We need like an office storage unit that we can have to be able to put our stuff into,” Cox said. “We need office furniture, office supplies, an office computer system, that type of stuff to be able to log these gifts in so that we know what we’ve got and where we are at.”

Other supplies needed are tables, chairs, trash barrels and coolers.

Cox said they need to replace all the supplies they have built up over time.

The foundation also needs to replenish the paper goods for the Christmas party.

“We’ve got 800 kids and probably 400 parents that we are going to feed pizza and ice cream to,” Cox said.

The foundation shared the office and storage space, which was made up of attached mobile trailers, with a government contractor.

“They think it was an electrical fire that started outside of our space and it just spread throughout the building,” Cox said. “Those storage trailers and offices that we had are all metal so once a fire starts it’s like an oven and everything literally melted.”

Cox described seeing metal storage racks, which were full of gifts, twisted, bent and folded in half.

Along with the Christmas party, the foundation’s Children’s Fund provides family events including an Easter Egg Hunt, Operation Backpack, which provides military children with school supplies, and the Operation Pumpkin Halloween party.

The foundation also provides food cards, gas cards, financial support, medical support, bereavement and holiday support through the Chaplain’s Fund.

Other functions of the foundation include the Scholarship and Education Fund, Military Awards Dinner and maintaining the Memorial Park on the base.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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