At this time of year, Gleaning for the World remains very busy providing toys and other items to children and women in need all over the world.
The Concord-based nonprofit organizes a teddy bear brigade each year where it collects, on average, 35,000 gently used stuffed animals and gives them to children in need.
Last week we sent out a trailer full of brand new stuffed animals and toys that will end up giving children in South American orphanages a Christmas.
Teresa Davis, director of communications at Gleaning for the World, said the teddy bears are offered to children living in extreme poverty all over the world.
In June, one of the association’s employees, Steven Bryant, was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to work and when he died, his family asked people to donate to Gleaning for the World in his memory. Davis said a portion of those funds are used to ship the teddy bears across seas to around 200 orphanages.
The money was also used to buy new toys such as basketballs, dolls, puzzles, jump ropes, and sidewalk chalk to send to boys and girls.
Davis said the majority of stuffed animals are mailed to the association.
“It’s really cool to see these packages coming in from all over the world,” said Davis. “And sometimes people write a handwritten note and explain that it’s from their mother’s collection and she’s downsizing or it’s my 12 year old collection and they’re too big for animals and what ‘they want to pass it on. It’s always a lot of fun.