ELIZABETHTOWN — The “Have a Heart Stuffed Animal Drive” has entered the home stretch at the Bladen Journal, and the final 10 days’ push will be used to complete the goal of filling a box with little furry friends for the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.
“Our hope was that we would fill the large box in our office window, and we are easily halfway there,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager and editor of the newspaper. “We are seeing almost daily visitors bringing in anywhere from a single stuffed animal to a couple of shopping bags full — and a few folks have made more than one visit to deliver stuffed animals.”
Recently, a contributing trio — Sadie Perry of Clarkton, Loretta Cromartie of Dublin and Sharon Kepner — brought numerous stuffed animals to the Bladen Journal office to donate. Several folks who wished to remain anonymous also contributed to the project.
Once the collection is finished — the final day will be Wednesday, Feb. 28 — all of the smaller stuffed animals will be presented to the Sheriff’s Office for deputies to have when they respond to tragic situations involving children. The larger stuffed animals will be presented to Bladen County Hospital.
“Hopefully we will see a big push over the final days,” Vincent said.
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.
The contributed stuffed animals will be presented to the Sheriff’s Office and BCH 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.