BUFFALO, N.Y.- Picking out a few new books to read is one thing that will help get 3-year-old Madison's mind off her father's deployment.
"We read books, and we talk to him online, anything that's available to us, anything to fill the gap of him not being around," said her mother Kim, who for safety reasons would not give her last name.
Madison is just one of many children of deployed members of the military that will have a brighter Easter this year.
"We found a real need, so we decided to do it around Eastertime instead of in the fall when a lot of other organizations collect stuff," said Raymond Caso, Commander of the Erie County American Legion.
Caso helped organize the Legion's "Family Project."
The 2-month long drive brought in $40,000 worth of food, toys, clothes, money and gift cards, all to go to the families of the county's 500 deployed members of the military.
"It's wonderful, it's the most wonderful thing you could possibly imagine to help us out by giving us these wonderful gifts, it's just amazing."
The project, which has never been done before, brought together all four parts of the American Legion, including the Sons of the Legion, the Legion Auxiliary and the Legion Riders.
More than a dozen Erie County schools also took part in the drive.
The items were given out last week at the Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo.
The Legion will continue to distribute items Monday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Family members of any deployed serviceman or woman are welcome; be sure to bring your military ID card.
To watch the full report by Channel 2's Sarah Hopkins, click the link above.