RUTLAND - The Annual Stuffed Animal Shelter was held December 4 and 5th at Depot Park in Rutland. Rutland radio station Z-97 partnered with Broc to collect new toys for underprivileged children this holiday season.
The first year they collected over 300 toys, the second year they collected over 600 and this year they doubled their previous record- making the community stand out as a very giving community at this time of year.
"This year was an amazing year for the Stuffed Animal Shelter. Lots of stories, lots of laughter, excitement and in the end we helped, through BROC, put thousands of smiles on the faces of kids in this community," said Promotions Director Amanda Begins. "We never really set a goal in terms of dollars or number of toys at the start of the toy drive. Our overall goal is always to help make a child's holiday season a little bit brighter. However, we always keep a tally of how many donations are received just to build the excitement and to see how many kids we've helped. This year we collected over the course of two days 1,340 books, toys, dolls, stuffed animals and we also collected $140 in gift cards and cash. The variety of the donations was outstanding. People really responded to our call."
The Z-97 website explains the reason behind working tirelessly this season to help out: "Can you imagine cancelling Christmas? No lights, no presents, no big dinners, no tree. The harsh reality is that there are people in our community that live with that reality and not by choice. There are families that barely have enough money to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. Christmas presents are just a fantasy."
Radio personality Frankie-G explained the origins of the event. "WSYB has its Christmas Fund, WJJR has Stuff-a-Bus and Z-97 has Stuffed Animal Shelter. We are able to help some children in our community who may not otherwise have a present this holiday," he said.