They're cute, but they're everywhere and I'm not talking about my children. I'm talking about my children's stuffed animals.
I don't know how they all came to take up residence here, but a few months ago I decided to kick most of them out.
I could not leave these stuffed animals homeless. I'm not that heartless. Below are the places I've sent some of our flock. My supply is still pretty large, so if you've got other suggestions, please let me know.
1. Project Night Night - This organization collects stuffed animals, books, and baby blankets to help homeless kids get a better night sleep. You can send them individual items or collect the items yourself to donate to a local shelter. They're very easy to work with and have lots of contacts with shelters all over the US.
2. AnySoldier.com - This site helps you collect all kinds of items to send to soldiers fighting in Iraq. It does a great job of telling you what they really need. On the site I learned that soldiers like to put beanie babies or other small stuffed animals in their packs to give out to Iraqi children they meet. A friend of mine sends packages each week (her workplace agreed to pay for the shipping). She found a group of soldiers who were working with an Iraqi orphanage and we also sent lots of stuffed animals there. For more info, scroll down to Cool Things to Send on the What to Send page.
3. Edmay Mayers - Through parenthacks.com I learned about a soldier working in Iraq who gives stuffed animals to kids there. You can even call the post office to have them send you priority mail boxes and customs forms to make shipping easier. (You'll still have to pay for postage.)
4. Do One Nice Thing - A friend of mine heard a news report about how you can send small toys, school supplies, and hard candy to a group of soldiers in Afghanistan who will deliver them to children. This was a nice way to send all my children's small toys and party favors to a good home.