Anaheim Care-A-Van rolls into Biloxi Monday

The Anaheim Kindness Care-A-Van will arrive on the Gulf Coast to deliver nearly 1,000 toys Nov. 21 and 22 to hundreds of children impacted by hurricanes since August.

The toys — donated by Anaheim residents, businesses and city employees — will be distributed to children in Biloxi on Nov. 21 and at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans on Nov. 22, just days before the zoo’s grand reopening.

The Anaheim Kindness Care-A-Van, initiated at the request of Anaheim City Council Member Lorri Galloway, collected almost 1,000 toys in October for children of all ages – infants through teen-agers.

Many of the toys came with a note of encouragement attached. In addition, students in the Anaheim City School District wrote letters offering comfort and friendship.

Orange County residents Patti and Richard Davis, CWCI Insulation and Dan and Arnie Schmidt with Bay Industries also contributed to the Anaheim Kindness Care-A-Van by covering the cost of shipping the toys to the Gulf Coast.

In Biloxi, where the Care-A-Van is expected to arrive at the Lopez-Quave Public Safety Center Monday afternoon, the city has plans to work with a local relief agency to ensure that the donated toys are presented to needy families in time for Christmas.

“We’re very appreciative of this kind gesture from the people of Anaheim,” Mayor A.J. Holloway said. “This is certainly going to help make Christmas brighter for a numnber of families, and we’re eternally grateful.”

In New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo is the first major family tourist attraction to reopen in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the region in late August. Before Katrina, National Geographic Traveler and Yahoo!Travel named New Orleans the number 1 destination in America for family travel; the Audubon Zoo and additional Audubon Nature Institute attractions were a major force behind this designation.

“Re-opening the Zoo is a symbol that the heart and soul of New Orleans survives,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO. “Families have been enjoying Audubon Zoo for 120 years and we’re proud to be part of the history of New Orleans. While we all work to rebuild our city, we know that spending time with family and enjoying a visit to the park and zoo will help build new memories for generations to come.”

About Anaheim: Founded in 1857, the City of Anaheim is one of the nation’s premier municipalities and California’s 10th most populous city. As the oldest city in Orange County, Anaheim covers 50 square miles, with more than 345,000 residents and 2,077 employees. The municipal corporation’s annual budget is $1.298 billion. The city boasts world-class organizations such as the Anaheim Angels, Boeing, CKE Restaurants, Inc., L-3 Communications, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Pacific Sunwear and The Walt Disney Company. Annually, Anaheim also welcomes millions of visitors to the city, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit

Press contact: John James Nicoletti, City of Anaheim, 714.765.5060