GRETNA - A floppy-eared blue dog, a fuzzy green monkey, a spotted pink cat, a one-eyed purple monster and a rainbow-striped bear poked out from among the hundreds of stuffed animals piled on the sidewalk outside Gretna Fire Station No. 2.

The brightly-colored menagerie was the result of a stuffed toy drive organized by Girl Scout Troop 43631. In just two weeks, the 16 Gretna second-graders were able to collect nearly 400 stuffed animals, which they donated to the Gretna Fire Department for children affected by traumatic events.

“Without the drive of our girls, none of this would have happened,” said Kelly Lloyd, one of the troop’s leaders. “I’m blessed I’ve gotten to see their huge hearts the last few years. I hope to see them grow and continue the great community service activities they’ve been involved with.”

The girls came up with the idea for a teddy bear drive at the beginning of the school year when they were brainstorming service projects, Lloyd said.

Drop-off boxes were located at Green Beans Coffee and Family Video on 168th and Harrison Streets. Infogroup in Papillion also put out donation boxes.

The troop works throughout the year to help in the community, Lloyd said. This year the girls have helped hand out water at the HETRA run and took presents to children at Ambassador Health in Omaha. Many of the girls in the troop have been together since kindergarten, and the group visits the care center each year, Lloyd said.

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