Service project yields 1200 stuffed animals

Published 11:08 pm Monday, December 17, 2012

Unity Christian Academy students collected more than 1,200 stuffed animals for nonprofit organization, the Teddy Bear Brigade. UCA high school students got the whole student body involved in the stuffed animal drive, a senior service project. WDN Photo | Mona Moore

Madison Nay had a hard time parting with Bella, her little white stuffed horse, but she knew it was the right thing to do.
“Because I knew it was going to kids that didn’t have anything left,” said Nay, a fourth-grader at Unity Christian Academy.
The school set a goal of 1,000 stuffed animals and $500 to collect during a service project for the nonprofit organization, the Teddy Bear Brigade.
The organization delivers teddy bears, medical supplies, food and clothing to residents in third-world countries and victims of natural disasters.
Ragan Harris, a second-grader, said she had a tough time parting with a couple of her stuffed toys.
“Mostly just two: Dumbo and my sea horse,” she clarified.
Unity Christian got involved last month when Chris Ellis, director of the brigade, gave a presentation on the organization’s mission.
Ellis said the bears are a way of reaching people with the gospel message.
UCA Administrator Kristie Warren said the presentation had a big impact on the students, who had been briefed on the drive prior to the visit.
“It just didn’t hit them till after Chris left what the stuffed animals were going to mean to others,” she said.
UCA students collected more than 1,200 stuffed animals and fell just shy of their $500 goal.
The stuffed animals came in hundreds at a time, said Kimberly Smith, assistant to the school administrator.
Warren said she was not at all disappointed that one of the goals was not met.
“Seeing high school kids take $20 bills out of their wallets – and that is where most of the money came from, the kids donated it – I was very proud of that,” Warren said.