The Jackson County Home and Community Education Organization (HCE) will be sending 30 stuffed toys to Nicaragua for children in hospitals and burn centers.

HCE has enjoyed donating various items to poverty-stricken Nicaragua for many years including material, yarn, thread, sewing notions, stitchery and jewelry making kits, non-glass cooking utensils, bicycles and portable sewing machines.

Darlene Hostrawser, president of the Snow Creek HCE club, shared the story of Nicaragua with her great granddaughter Alanah Gaier. The question came up—would the children in Nicaragua appreciate gently-used stuffed toys? Gaier needed to downsize her collection of stuffed toys and thought sending them to Nicaragua would be the thing to do.

Connie Patterson, international chair for Jackson County HCE, was pleased with the idea, and HCE President Joan Staffon checked with Amy Wiza, director of Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, the organization through which the items have been donated. Wiza said the toys would be greatly appreciated.

Gaier was so excited to hear that those children would cuddle, squeeze and love her toys as much as she did that she gathered two big boxes worth and told her classmates at school about her project during a recent presentation.

Gaier’s next project is gathering school supplies to send.