Girl collecting stuffed animals for pediatric hospital patients

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Kristin Thorne is in Port Jefferson with the story

A young girl wanted to make a difference and volunteer at a local hospital, but she was denied because she's too young.

But she didn't take "no" for an answer. Instead she found a way to work around it and help pediatric patients.

You can't stop kindness. 13-year-old Annabelle Fritz is proof of that.

"I go to the hospital, I wanted to volunteer there. But I had to be a certain age which was 14," Annabelle said.

So Annabelle decided she would collect stuffed animals for pediatric patients at the hospital, John T. Mather Memorial in Port Jefferson.

"They can have it with them when they go in to get surgery or when they get out. It will just be there and they can keep it for as long as they want," Annabelle said.

She's been collecting stuffed animals at local schools and sporting events.

But that's not all! She wrote to some major toy companies seeking donations and they responded in kind.

"I've collected 242 stuffed animals so far," Annabelle said. "I just sent out a whole bunch of letters recently and I'm waiting to see if they're going to send anything."

"She sits at her computer, she writes all the letters, she researches companies, and she mails them out, real mail. Not email. And she writes thank you's too when she gets donations from a company," said Rosemarie Fritz, Annabelle's mother.

In June Annabelle will be turn 14 years old. She'll then be old enough to volunteer at the hospital. But, she says she'll continue collecting and donating the stuffed animals.

She named the effort, "Bunny's Stuffed Animal Program" after her cat.

If you'd like to donate new stuffed animals, please contact Annabelle at
Related Topics:
healthdonationstoyschildrenchildren's healthu.s. & worldNew York
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