June 25, 2016


Medina students collect stuffed toys for area children

MEDINA — Telling somebody to “get stuffed” took on a different meeting last month at Medina High School.

Feb. 11 to 15, Student Council members collected stuffed animals from classmates to be given to underprivileged or injured children in the community.

Members of Medina High School Student Council pose Thursday afternoon with stuffed animals they collected last month to benefit underprivileged children in the community. (STEVE GRAZIER / GAZETTE)

The drive netted about 420 stuffed animals in five days. The students were helped by Medina police Detective Mike Wesner, who serves as the school’s resource officer.

“We had a lot of fun getting this going,” said junior Nicole Machovina, a Student Council member. “We just spread the word and told everyone to bring stuffed animals to school.”

Stuffed animals were washed and packaged in plastic bags Thursday afternoon by students before being given to Medina police for distribution, Spanish teacher and Student Council adviser Laura Calaiacovo said.

Officers will keep the stuffed toys in the trunks of police cruisers and distribute them to children via organizations such as the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties and Let’s Make a Difference, Wesner said.

Police also will give the toys to children they encounter on patrol who are victims of a domestic violence situation or a car accident.

“These toys might bring a little smile to a child who needs it, and that’s huge,” Wesner said. “I’m proud of what the students put forth in giving back to the community.”

Calaiacovo agreed.

“If we can help bring a smile to a child’s face, this was well worth our efforts,” she said.

Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.