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Operation Iraqi Children Makes A Huge Delivery

By Rachel
April 12, 2009 - 7:27 PM

American Airlines prepares to send 20 tons of school supplies for Operation Iraqi Children (OIC), a program started by CSI: New York star Gary Sinise (Mac Taylor).

Sinise created OIC with author Laura Hillenbrand in 2004 to help American soldiers in their efforts to lend a hand to children in Iraq. Many of these children attend neglected schools without even the most basic school supplies. Since its inception, OIC has delivered more than 250,000 school kits, which include paper, pencils, scissors, glue and crayons. Now, American Airlines is lending their support to deliver more than 20 tons of school supplies to needy children.

"From the time I first visited schools in Iraq back in 2003 to the founding with Laura Hillenbrand of Operation Iraqi Children in 2004, I never would have imagined that five years later the success of the program would lead to American Airlines airlifting over 20 tons of OIC supplies to help us continue our mission of helping soldiers to help children," Sinise said in a press release. "Since those very early days, OIC has partnered with People to People International (PTPI) and received support from some great companies, which now, with this amazing airlift of supplies, includes American Airlines."

With 10,000 school kits being loaded on a Boeing 767, this marks the largest single shipment of supplies for OIC. In addition to school supplies, American Airlines is delivering more than 6,000 pairs of CrocsTM shoes thanks to the SolesUnited program. "American Airlines is honored to be the first U.S. passenger airline to transport this humanitarian cargo for distribution in Iraq," said Roger Frizzell, Vice President of Corporate Communications at American Airlines. "We are proud to support this extraordinary effort to help our soldiers assist Iraqi children in desperate need of shoes and basic school supplies. Most importantly, we appreciate our soldiers taking steps to build bridges with families and children in Iraq."

American Airlines will also be flying 75 volunteers and entertainers to help distribute the supplies and entertain American troops. Singer Tony Orlando, actor Stephen Baldwin, the Country Tonite singers, Vandel-Snook and model/television host Leeann Tweeden are among the entertainers who will accompany the supplies to Iraq. They will be joined by the president and CEO of PTPI, Mary Jean Eisenhower, who is the granddaughter of President Dwight D Eisenhower. "I could not be more thrilled to support this trip," Sinise said.

The original information is from PR Newswire.

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