Operation North Pole comes to Fort Riley

Legion members said they gave about 600 toys to children.
Legion members said they gave about 600 toys to children.(WIBW)
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - The season of giving is upon us as the American Legion hosted its 14th Operation North Pole out at Fort Riley Saturday. Members of the legion provide gifts to children that are in need.

“When I was in the military sometimes money was tight and we’re here now and able to give them assistance to provide a Christmas that others may not have,” said Barry Maples, legion member.

The legion supports the children of deployed soldiers, those in the soldier recovery unit, those enrolled in the exceptional family member program, and survivor outreach families. Members said they love to provide assistance to those families in need.

“We like to use this as kind of a two-fold event we like to provide for our service members and their children plus we like it’s a way for us to continue to serve and so we do that and at the end of the day though it all about were providing them a service and then at the end we hope we might get a couple of new members out the whole thing,” said Roger Beckley, legion chairman.

At the end of the day, little kids get to see Santa and receive a gift that lights up their eyes.

“It’s tremendous being able to see the joy in all these people’s faces as little kids come up and they get their presents it’s just great,” said Maples.

Not only do the children get to have fun with games and gifts but the members love to enjoy it as well.

“We got gentlemen like ourselves that get into the Christmas spirit and you got guys like this getting their face painted, don’t get better than that,” said Beckley.

Legion members say this event is just special in so many ways.

“It’s an event that we just love to do and give back to the warriors and their families and their children and put them in the Christmas spirit,” said Beckley.

The legion said that they gave about 600 toys to the children in need.