PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (NNS) -- Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) donations put smiles on Cambodian children's faces at a donation ceremony held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 7.
During the ceremony, PP12 representatives and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, William E. Todd, presented nine pallets to the Cambodian Children's Fund center.
"Service and charity are key principals of American society," said Todd. "These donations were provided by the generosity of thousands of American citizens who appreciate this partnership and extend this gift of friendship in gratitude to the country of Cambodia."
The donations included blankets, school kits and hygiene kits that are much needed by the children who receive them.
Scott Neeson, the Children's Fund Executive Director, said families come to the center with needs of support.
"Families come here because they have no other way to make money," he said. "So we support them with supplies, education and vocational training to help them become self sufficient again. It means an enormous amount to the families that come here to receive so much in donations.
"These goods are life-essential and we didn't have them before now, so getting such a large amount of good[s] will literally save lives. It is a savior for us and couldn't come at a better time."
Along with the donations, children and volunteers alike enjoyed meeting and playing with one another during the event.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lilly said interaction was the best and most important part of the ceremony.
"I loved seeing the kids," she said. "They are fun and lively and excited to receive anything which is refreshing. They are happy with or without receiving anything and are just happy to interact and play, which is the most important thing."
Donations and interaction with local populations are some of the most important parts of the Pacific Partnership mission because they help build long-lasting relationships that will help communities and international organizations work together in a disaster response.
Now in its seventh year, Pacific Partnership is an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian and civic assistance mission U.S. military, host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations and international agencies designed to build stronger relationships and disaster response capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
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