These are just a few of the beanie babies from my mom’s collection. I don’t know when she started buying these things, but part of the frenzy was the idea that they were supposedly going to be collector’s items. Flash forward ten or so years, and they’re selling for about a buck apiece on ebay. But through four moves this decade, my mother has carted around her box of beanie babies, and without any grandchildren to bestow them upon, they grew very lonely in their box with no one to play with.
I finally convinced her to part with her collection by dangling the carrot of donation. And not just any donation, a donation to the troops! How does that work? Operation Gratitude is an organization that puts together care packages for soldiers stationed overseas. And according to their website, the most-needed and requested items are hand-written personal letters, and beanie babies. Why beanie babies? I hope you have a tissue handy, because apparently they love to receive the stuffed toys because they give them to local children to gain their trust so they’ll tell them where IEDs are hidden. Your old toys might save a life!
Here’s a quote from a letter the organization received from a Marine: “I live with 17 Marines and Sailors in one room. Everyone got a package and everyone loved it especially the cookies and beanie babies. The cookies are excellent and the beanie babies help us out a lot with the local kids. We give them candy and toys and they give us the location for IED’s. Once again, thank you for everything and for all the hard work that you put into the package.”
I’m going to my friend’s 2nd grade class to do a letter-writing project as well. If you have beanie babies or other stuffed toys to donate, or you want to write a letter or make a scarf to be included in a care package to a soldier, click here to find out more information.
It’s hard to part with these things, they really are cute. But it’s a lot easier knowing that they might end up the beloved toy of a child halfway around the world who lives with more violence and stress than any child should ever have to deal with. Consider it a case of kind and conscious decluttering.
Have you ever collected beanie babies? Wondering what to do with your old collections? Please share in the Comments section.