ELIZABETHTOWN —Bobby Ludlum knows exactly what kind of need there is for getting a stuffed animal into the hands of a young child during a stressful time.
“I was involved with someone locally who was having a family dispute, and there was a young child involved,” he said. “I’m so glad you are doing this.”
Ludlum was visiting the Bladen Journal office on Wednesday to deliver several stuffed animals for the newspaper’s first-ever “Have a Heart Stuffed Animal Drive,” which will benefit the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and give its deputies something to give young children during tragic circumstances to soothe them.
“We only started this project a handful of days ago, and we’ve already had several folks bring stuffed animals,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. “We can’t thank those folks enough — and there have also been several others who have inquired about what we are doing and indicated they would be donating soon.”
The collection will run through Wednesday, Feb. 28.
The newspaper staff is looking for stuffed animals that are preferably new or incredibly gently used and are not particularly large — specifically those that are appropriate for children between the ages of 1 and 10. Almost any type of stuffed animal will be accepted and, should there be an abundance of donations, some stuffed animals may be funneled to Bladen County Hospital for children there.
The Bladen Journal has a large box positioned in the front window to hold donations through the month of February. Then the contributed stuffed animals will be presented to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office in early March.
“This is a perfect opportunity for school groups, church youth groups, business groups, individuals and civic clubs to participate,” Vincent said. “The donation of one stuffed animal or 50 will certainly go a long way in this county.”
Anyone with questions can call 910-862-4163 during regular business hours.