550 Stuffed Animals Collected By Students To Help Kids Who Face Traumatic Events
A Washington State teen, who gathered up hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to children, has been making national headlines for her efforts, which were carried out as a school project while touching hearts and making a difference to some kids who have been through troubling events.
The teen’s name is Allison Fay, and she is a sophomore at West Valley High School in Yakima, Washington. Fay spoke with ABC News, and said that she had collected as many as 550 stuffed animals with help from her classmates. The stuffed animals were collected through a donation drive and given to the Yakima Police Department, which said it will be distributing some of them to other nearby police departments, since there are so many of them. Other departments that will be handing out the collected stuffed animals include Tieton, Union Gap, and Selah.
The news outlet shares these words from Fay, “I think it was a really good project because we were able to get so many kids from my school to come together and donate to our community, and help other kids that are in need.”
A Facebook post from the Yakima Police Department from Thursday said that “West Valley High School Sophomore Ally Fay, as part of a school project, collected 550 stuffed animals to donate to police. Ally’s vision is for police officers to give the stuffed animals to children who are experiencing a traumatic event. Pictured with Ally are Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi and Selah Police Chief Rick Hayes along with members of the YPD Special Assault Unit. From left to right are Detectives Jeff Guilland and Michael Durbin, Chief Hayes, Ally, Chief Rizzi and YPD Special Assault Unit Sergeant Randy Baker. YPD, Selah PD along with Union Gap and Tieton Police Departments will be receiving some of the donated stuffed animals. Thank you to Ally and all of the West Valley parents and students that helped out.”
Fay and police officers also spoke with KIMATV.com, the local CBS affiliate, about the stuffed animals and the difference they hope to make. It took just a week and a half for Fay and her classmates to come up with 550 stuffed animals with four schools — the middle school, the junior high school, the high school, and the freshman campus — involved.
Fay told that outlet the inspiration for the stuffed animals project came from a yard sale with her mom, who happens to work for the Yakima Police Department.
“When she was little she passed out in elementary school and a fire truck came and they actually gave her a little stuffed monkey,” she is quoted as saying. “She still has that and it still means so much to her.”
Rizzi also told the outlet how big of a difference the stuffed animals make, noting that the department deals with a lot of “real bad incidents that involve children” and that the stuffed animals can provide “an avenue of comforting” for them.
Meanwhile, in Arkansas, motorcycle groups are also making a similar kind of difference with stuffed animals. They, too, are providing police departments with stuffed animals to give to children for comforting in traumatic event scenarios. These particular acts of generosity were carried out through the sixteenth annual teddy bear run in Little Rock.
According to TVH11, motorcycle groups from throughout central Arkansas took stuffed animals to deputies “to serve as comfort items for kids they come in contact with in tough times.”
When it comes to delivering stuffed animals to police departments for this purpose, May has been a big month. An Alvarado girl also recently made headlines for providing a department with 74 stuffed animals.
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