More than 125 stuffed animals are on their way to new homes, thanks to the Virginia Tech Union and NRV Cares.

Laura Bedenbaugh, assistant director of student programming; Danielle Espino of Virginia Beach, Va., a graduate assistant graduating with a master’s degree in higher education administration; Abby Schoenfeld of Portsmouth, Va., a junior majoring in business management in the Pamplin College of Business; and Bo Peaseley of Richmond, Va., a junior majoring in finance and economics in the Pamplin College of Business, joined Bev Walters, executive director of NRV Cares, and Keli Lichty, education program director, who were on hand to pick up the five boxes of stuffed animals on behalf of their organization Tuesday, May 5.

NRV Cares is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting children from abuse and strengthening families through education, advocacy, and community partnerships. Walters said the bears and other stuffed animals will be distributed to parents in the “Parenting of Young Children” courses her organization offers. More information on NRV Cares can be found at the group’s website.

The stuffed bears, buffaloes, toucans, and penguins were surplus items from a previous Virginia Tech Union fundraiser. The animals were stuffed and dressed by Virginia Tech student volunteers during the group’s Soundfest on Saturday, May 2, an annual music event held in Squires Student Center. Even the performers took part in the service event, according to Bedenbaugh.

Virginia Tech Union is the largest programming organization at Virginia Tech hosting more than 60 events each academic year. Founded in 1969, the group’s mission is to provide quality educational and social entertainment that represents the diverse culture of Virginia Tech’s students and its community. In addition, the Virginia Tech Union enhances Virginia Tech students’ out-of-classroom experience through leadership and volunteer opportunities. Virginia Tech Union is advised by the Virginia Tech Department of Student Activities, part of University Unions and Student Activities, a unit within the Division of Student Affairs. More information is available at the Virginia Tech Union website.

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