What We Do
Operation International Children (formerly Operation Iraqi Children) is a grass-roots program founded in early 2004 by actor Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, CSI: NY) and author Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit: An American Legend) and joined in partnership with People to People International and its President and CEO, Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sinise and Hillenbrand created OIC to give concerned Americans a way to reach out to the war-stricken children of Iraq by supporting our troops in their efforts to assist them. Working directly with troops, OIC has delivered well over a quarter of a million school supply kits, along with more than half a million toys and thousands of blankets, backpacks, pairs of shoes, Arabic-language books, and sets of sports equipment, all of which have been distributed to children. While we remain committed to our work in Iraq, OIC has expanded its mission, sending school supplies to Afghanistan and other nations, where American troops are distributing them to children in need. In the future, we will continue to broaden our efforts across the world.
Sinise, Hillenbrand and Eisenhower believe the benefits of this program will reach beyond the recipients of the supplies. By bringing Americans together with citizens of war-torn nations, OIC can foster understanding between our nations and generate goodwill between local citizens and American soldiers. "Every time a box of school supplies is delivered by our troops it will be another small victory for them in helping win hearts and minds," says Sinise. "It is a beautiful way to begin a relationship with the future leaders of Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn nations. They have been forgotten for so long. Now there is a chance for them."
What You Can Do
We are always looking for volunteers to donate school supplies and ship them to the OIC Warehouse. Monetary donations enable us to purchase supplies, which are assembled at the OIC Warehouse.