COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- About two dozen state employees will donate their lunch hour and sewing skills to repair stuffed toys that are tested at state labs. Those toys are then donated to children in need.
Every company that wants to sell stuffed toys in Ohio has to submit a sample to the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Industrial Compliance for testing on the materials inside. Inspectors make a one inch slit on the seam and pull out some of the stuffing. The toys had just been thrown away in the past, but 28 years ago someone got the idea to donate them to children instead.
Employees have about 470 toys to repair.
"Takes me about 25 minutes to do one, but people that know how to sew, pretty quick, just a couple of minutes," joked Rick Selegue, chief bedding inspector.
The event is named the “Norman DeHaas Annual Holiday Sewing Project” in memory of long-time supervisor Norman DeHaas, who was an advocate of the project and active in local charities in his hometown of Hillsboro.
The stuffed toys will be donated to local charitable organizations to benefit children who might otherwise go without gifts this holiday season.