For the past four years the Mission Outreach Committee of Great Falls United Methodist Church has supported Gleaning for the World's â€œOperation Teddy Bear,â€ a program based in Appomattox, Va. that distributes stuffed animals to orphaned children in Africa and Central America. Last year 10,000 stuffed animals were collected from the Northern Virginia area â€” Great Falls United Methodist Church runs a collection each September.
Church members, local residents and pre-school families all donate new and gently used stuffed animals to the cause. In 2006, 1,148 stuffed animals were collected by Great Falls United Methodist Church. This year, the church collected 2,719. Great Falls resident Rene Ladd, who organizes the annual Great Falls United Methodist stuffed animal collection and delivery, said she was amazed when she and her family personally counted all of the stuffed animals in her driveway last week.
â€œMuch gratitude goes out to all those local children who gave their own stuffed animals to help orphaned children feel loved,â€ said Ladd.
All of the stuffed animals were delivered last week via an SUV caravan to the local drop site at Burke United Methodist Church.