Five years ago, Lilian Gluck, an Educator by profession, began to develop a project to recycle stuffed animals, which are later donated to children in health centers, schools and communities, who receive their gifts with great gratitude.
Her Hospital de Peluches project began in Caracas in 2017 when her three children left the country, leaving behind a large number of books, clothes and lots of toys, especially stuffed animals.
Remember that many people with limited economic resources, especially at Christmas time, continually knocked on his door to ask for donations or some money in the hope of acquiring traditional first-time clothes or gifts of the Child Jesus for the children of the house.
At that time, he wondered how much money he had to have to help all the people who knock on his door. The toys that her children had left would not be enough for everyone, so through social networks she began with some neighbors to ask for donations of toys that were in good condition. In the first collection they were able to recover and donate 400 toys.
Expansion. Lilian recounted that in the first instance she collaborated with the people who knocked on her door, but then the donation of recycled toys reached hospitals, schools and communities in 18 states of the country.
“We saw that, without having to make a greater investment, we managed to make so many children happy, so we decided to continue the request for donations, which come to us from different parts of the territory and from other countries where Venezuelans reside, who regardless of the distance collaborate with our little ones”, he affirmed.
He stressed that, in addition to offering toys a second chance to continue being used by children, the Hospital de los Peluches also seeks to reinforce values between children and adults.
“Our recycled toys are not only received by boys and girls, but also by young people and adults. Among the little ones we want to reinforce a message of the dignity of toys, the need to care, that they learn the importance of giving and not just receiving, among adults we want to remind them that all children deserve to receive a toy in good condition, that in our homes we have something that we can donate”, he affirmed.
Equipment. Devora Esquenasi, another of the promoters of the project, said that the work at the Hospital de los Peluches is divided into several stations, which begin with the reception of donated toys.
“Upon receiving the bags of donations, they are reviewed to find out what type of repair they need, they are classified, then they go to the washing and drying area, later, they go to the sewing and reconstruction area where they are sewn, eyes are placed on those who they are missing, they comb their hair, they put their clothes on the dolls, they put bows on them and then they pack up,” said Esquemasi.
To date there is a contingent of 40 women volunteers, who with much love and dedication are in charge of repairing stuffed animals and other used toys to make them look like new.
- A total of 40 toys have been delivered since the start of the project.
- Stuffed animals are therapeutic for both children and adults who are hospitalized.
- Each stuffed animal delivered carries messages: “Hello! I'm your new friend”; "I am an experienced stuffed animal because I played with another child"; "Love me and take care of me and I will do the same with you", "When you grow up give me another child who loves me and plays with me like you do".
- To find more information about this social project or make donations, you can visit the website elhospitaldepeluches.org. You can also write to the email elhosp[email protected] to be able to be taken care of by the team.