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Williamson County Teen’s Big Heart Leads to a Successful Stuffed Animal Drive

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Williamson County Teen’s Big Heart Leads to a Successful Stuffed Animal Drive

The conclusion of Kenny Royer’s Stuffed Animal Drive is a testament to the power of one person’s dedication and the compassion of the community. The drive, which aimed to collect stuffed animals for abused children at Davis House Child Advocacy Center, has surpassed even the most optimistic expectations.

“I wanted to bring awareness to Davis House and collect at least 500 animals for the children,” Kenny, a Williamson County high school junior, explains. “But we far exceeded that goal with over 1,500 animals collected, and over $11,400 in cash donations. It really makes me feel good that so many people helped out.”

This outpouring of support speaks volumes about Williamson County residents and their unwavering commitment to helping those in need. Kenny’s initiative will not only bring comfort to vulnerable children but has also shone a spotlight on the vital work of Davis House.

“Thank you to everyone who supported this year’s stuffed animal drive. Thank you to the generous people. We made a difference,” he said.

Buttons at Davis House.

A Safe Harbor: How Davis House Supports Abused Children

For more than twenty years, Davis House Child Advocacy Center has been a crucial support system for young abuse victims in Williamson County. Their mission is to empower children and families to overcome trauma through comprehensive support services. This includes trauma-informed care and education, creating a safe environment where children can begin to recover and families can access the help they need. 

As part of their recovery process, Davis House provides each child with a stuffed animal—a comforting ally to accompany them on their journey toward healing.

Carolyn Evans, Executive Director of Davis House, notes that while they have received stuffed animal donations sporadically, this marks the first student-led drive during her nearly ten-year tenure. She further emphasizes that this collection represents the largest amount ever collected during her time at Davis House.

“Kenny is doing an amazing job and it is such a special thing to see kid advocating for kids! His gentle spirit and strong dedication are so wonderful to see and give me hope for this next generation,” says Evans. 

Stuffed Animals at Davis House.

Comfort and Care: The Inspiration Behind the Stuffed Animal Drive

The heartwarming tradition at Davis House of gifting a stuffed animal to each child they assist resonated deeply with Kenny. “When I learned about this practice,” Kenny explains, “it really struck a chord with me. “These stuffed animals become more than just toys; they become a source of comfort and a reminder that they’re not alone. Every child deserves to feel safe and loved,” he says.

Fueled by this empathy and a desire to make a difference, Kenny envisioned a community-wide initiative. “I wanted to ensure every child at Davis House felt the comfort and security of having a furry friend by their side,” he explains. “That’s how the idea for the Stuffed Animal Drive was born.” 

Stuffed animals collected from the Stuffed Animal Drive for Davis House Child Advocacy Center.

Together for the Kids: Community Support Drives Success

Prior to Kenny’s drive, Davis House relied on occasional donations or purchased stuffed animals to maintain this tradition. His initiative touched the community in Williamson County, resulting in an outpouring of support.

Local news outlets played a crucial role in spreading the word about Kenny’s drive. This media coverage, coupled with Kenny’s tireless efforts, sparked a wave of generosity across the community.

“I want to thank everyone that helped out from the community, and also FranklinIs, Williamson Herald, News Channel 5, and News Channel 2,” Kenny says. “It was so special that so many people stepped up to help the kids. 

Stuffed Animal Drive Drop Box in Franklin, Tennessee.

Beyond the Drive: Ongoing Ways to Help Abused Children

The success of Kenny’s Stuffed Animal Drive serves as a powerful reminder that the fight against child abuse is a year-round effort. While National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April has concluded, the need for support for Davis House and the children they serve remains constant.

Kenny is already planning to make this an annual event, kicking off again next April in time for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In the meantime, there are still several ways the community can continue to support Davis House and make a positive impact in the lives of local children.

Financial Donations: Davis House relies heavily on the generosity of donors to sustain their vital programs and services. Even a small financial contribution can make a significant difference in the life of a child. Visit the Stuffed Animal Drive website link to learn more about available donation options.

Stuffed Animal Donations: The tradition of gifting a stuffed animal to each child at Davis House continues throughout the year. New, unused stuffed animals of any size or type (with no suggestive messaging) are always welcome. 

Donations can be mailed, dropped off, or shipped via Amazon to:

WST Corporation
200 Seaboard Ln.
Franklin, TN 37067

The dropbox is located at the corner of the building and is accessible year-round, seven days a week. 

By contributing financially or donating a cuddly companion, you can join Kenny and the Williamson County community in creating a safety net of love and support for abused children. Every contribution, big or small, has the power to make a lasting difference in a child’s life.

“I am grateful that we were able to get so much attention on Davis House,” Kenny reflects. “It’s such a great cause and my heart goes out to the children. I am looking forward to doing this again next year.”