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Utah family collects thousands of stuffed animals for UHP

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - To mark the tenth anniversary of a Utah woman's death, her family collected thousands of stuffed animals. Each stuffed animal will be used to comfort children involved in car accidents.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - To mark the tenth anniversary of a Utah woman's death, her family collected thousands of stuffed animals. Each stuffed animal will be used to comfort children involved in car accidents.

Thousands of stuffed animals, all in the memory of Stacie Mae Gray.  Stacie died ten years ago in a car accident.

Stacie's Mother Jan told ABC4 Thursday, "We had been thinking, wouldn't it be a neat idea if on the tenth anniversary of Stacie's death if we could gather stuffed animals for kids who were in accidents."

That idea became a reality, Thursday with the donation of nearly two thousand stuffed animals.

It was originally Jan's sister's idea.

Kaye Nelson said, "I wanted to do something that would help people, but help my sister."

So Kaye posted a request on Facebook. Through the power of the internet, thousands of people saw the message and donated in Stacie's name.

Jan said, "Everyone who donated a stuffed animal thought of Stacie, over 2,000 people thought of Stacie."

Each of the animals will go out with UHP troopers, giving them the opportunity to comfort children involved in car accidents.

Major Michael Rapich said, "Everyone of these troopers are dads, moms, husbands, brothers and they are able to show their softer sides and comfort kids during a very rough time."

Besides the generous donation from Stacie's family, Stacie's mother has a very serious message: "If you are in a hurry, if you are late for work ... whatever the reason, just take that extra five seconds and put your seat belt on."

Preventing a tragedy Stacie's family lives with every day.

If you want to make a stuffed animal donation, contact UHP at (801) 366.6040.


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