RVES students donated hundreds of stuffed toys to Minneapolis police
The main office at Riverview Elementary School was a busy place this week. And colorful, too. That’s because students, parents, teachers, and even grandparents were in and out of the office, dropping off hundreds of stuffed animals.
RVES phy ed specialist Rachel Olson didn’t know her request for old, used stuffed animals would take off the way it did. She was talking with a friend one day — a friend who is also a Minneapolis police officer — and learned that the Minneapolis Police Department keeps a cabinet of stuffed animals for children who come to the police department.
The children often have been victims of abuse, or they’re at the police department because they or their siblings or parents have experienced some kind of trauma, Olson said. They’re scared, and they just need something to hug, to give a sense of security. That’s where the cabinet of stuffed animals comes in.
But that cabinet was running low. Olson knew she and the Riverview Elementary community could help. Being kind to others is a fundamental lesson taught throughout the school, Olson said.
“I thought we could do this as an act of kindness,” she said.
Olson sent out a message to the Riverview staff and parents last week, asking for donations of gently used stuffed animals. The message was shared on the school’s Facebook page, and it was posted on a few teachers’ pages, too.
Evidentially, the word got around. By 10:30 a.m. Monday, six garbage-sized bags of stuffed animals had already been collected, and the bin in the office was almost full. The stash had more than doubled by Tuesday morning.
The collection continues through Thursday morning, when Olson’s police officer friend will come to the school to pick up the donations.