The Inzerillo family had a simple goal for their stuffed animal drive. They wanted to collect as many comforting friends for kids in need as possible during their one week effort.
With the drive scheduled to continue into Saturday the family never could have imagined just how successful they would be. With the items collected being given to Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE) and the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital.
According to the drive's Facebook page more than 555 animals have been collected and on Thursday the family and some other contributors came together at Greenville School to celebrate their accomplishments.
Board of education member Patrick Dowling whose wife Teri serves as one of the co-presidents of the Greenville PTO said he was glad to see the drive succeeding as much as it has. "It's wonderful," he said. "It's for a good cause, it's going to kids that need stuff. It's a great thing."
Dowling said the Inzerillo family and the PTO have done a lot of good in a very short period of time. "That's the type of community we have down here," he said. "This was a Greenville specific project but this whole area, anytime there's anything like this around here both schools come together plus we have the Middle School South people too."
Greenville Principal Lynn Coco said she was also proud of the way the community came together even on such short notice. "You think about a stuffed animal, a teddy bear, think how inundated our homes are with them and I think children understand the comfort that a stuffed animal gives to them and we can give to other children," she said.
Coco said the drive was also a valuable learning experience for the students. "I think anytime that you ask children in this community to help support they do it," she said. "All the way from what we do in our building to what we do with Relay For Life, what we do for parents who are soldiers overseas, it's a very giving community," she said. "It's important for the children to see that even with the lessons that our teachers do and the books that they share with them, the children have empathy."
There were two drop off points for the animals. One was the Greenville School itself and the second was the Inzerillo family's home at 6 Nancy Street. Donations can still be brought to the home until tomorrow.