Czuppon stuffs her office with Tired Teddies

Czuppon stuffs her office with Tired Teddies

Hannah Church

Stuffed Animals Bring Cheer: OHS Athletic director Becky Czuppon spreads the joy this holiday season. Czuppon along with M&I Bank, and Stanley Steamers are credited with collecting, cleaning, and passing over 1100 used stuffed animals onto national charities.

A child sits on a hard chair in the hospital waiting room, the smell of antiseptics thick in the air. A muffled cry escapes from her lips right before a nurse hands her a comforting furry friend. The sound stops before exiting her throat and the child looks at the toy in amazement. Once again “Tired Teddies” has comforted another child in need.

Mrs. Becky Czuppon, OHS activities director, has teamed up with Stanley Steamer and M&I Bank to start a new tradition for charitable gift giving: “Tired Teddies”. This organization donates stuffed animals to the local highway patrol, Salvation Army, and hospitals across the nation to soothe children in emergency situations.

Beginning about a week before Thanksgiving, Czuppon started collecting stuffed animals for donation. A friend of hers, Chris Dickey, Vice President of M&I Bank, has offered to help support the cause. Every week after the stuffed animals have been collected, Czuppon delivers the load to M&I Bank where Stanley Steamers takes them, cleans them, and sends the new “Refreshed Teddies” off for donation. As of Dec. 8, Czuppon has collected over 1100 “Tired Teddies”.

“I am very surprised at the amount of animals given. I have kids so I know how hard it is to get rid of things,” Czuppon says.

This toy drive is unique from other charity organizations because the main focus is recycling old stuffed animals and cleaning them up for use rather than purchasing brand new items. Anyone who has children, or little kids in their family, most likely has access to abandoned stuffed companions for donation.

“Since it was the first time through I didn’t know what to expect,” says Czuppon. “It’s neat because you know [the teddies] are going somewhere good.”