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Arlington girl collects stuffed animals for Marysville police to give to kids
MARYSVILLE — Kaitlyn Toomey and her mom, Candy, became homeless when Kaitlyn was in the sixth grade.
“Technically, I still am,” said Kaitlyn, now 14, who’s living in Arlington. “I still wanted to help out other kids.”
On Aug. 18, the girl who once lived in a van with her mom and her dog, Scooby, visited the Marysville Police Department’s public safety building to drop off four large plastic bags full of more than 40 stuffed animals for children. As a Girl Scout, Kaitlyn Toomey is working toward her Silver Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, and she enlisted the aid of Sound Harley-Davidson and Mount Vernon First Baptist Church in helping her collect the toys.
Marysville Police Cmdr. Robb Lamoureux explained that Marysville Police officers give the stuffed animals to children who have suffered traumatic events.
“It’s a tool that a number of law enforcement agencies, including ours, have been using for a few years now,” Lamoureux said. “The toys are donated to us and our officers keep them in the trunks of their cars. When a child has been through an auto accident or is going through a family event, it’s a means of comforting them that’s very successful. We get a lot of feedback from parents who appreciate what we’ve done.”
“This one looks like one of my kids’ bears,” Marysville Police Officer Jeremy Mooring said, as he held up one stuffed animal. “We can never have too many of these. They really do offer comfort in times of crisis.”
Kaitlyn credited her mom with supplying her with the idea, which she’d seen on a TV cop show. Candy teased her daughter about wanting to keep a number of the stuffed animals for herself, but nonetheless emphasized how impressive her work has been.
“I’m very proud of her,” Candy Toomey said.