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Davenport students collect 1,300 stuffed animals

Sarah Eckert of the Trinity Lutheran School FIRST LEGO League team in Davenport sorts through more than 1,300 stuffed animals the team recently collected for traumatized kids.

DAVENPORT – Traumatized children in the Quad-Cities will receive a little extra comfort, thanks to a stuffed animal drive organized by FIRST LEGO League Team 2791, the World Changers, of Trinity Lutheran School in Davenport.

The team planned the campaign to support organizations in the Quad-Cities community that comfort children in crisis.

Team members set a goal of collecting enough new and gently used animals to fill the Trinity Lutheran Church van. But in just a few short weeks, bunnies, turtles and pillow pets began piling up until the number exceeded 1,300, overflowing the 15-passenger vehicle.

Donations poured in from Trinity Lutheran School families, Trinity Lutheran Church members, sister Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS congregations on the Iowa and Illinois sides of the Mississippi and generous citizens who heard about the collection.

Fifteen Quad-Cities organizations were chosen by the team to receive two or more 55-gallon plastic bags filled with stuffed animals on Friday.

“The team’s enthusiasm for helping kids in crisis is heartwarming,” said coach Susan Eckert. “FLL is a platform that supports kids’ ideas from conception to fruition. This was something the team was passionate about, took ownership of and accomplished on behalf of children affected by traumatic events."

Too often children are the victims of situations that leave them frightened, anxious and confused. Stuffed animals can help kids cope with their distress by bringing comfort and companionship.

Ms. Eckert said the World Changers team members were ecstatic about the participation in their project and appreciate everyone who donated to help kids in their time of need.

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