Students Donate Thousands Of Christmas Toys To Haitian Children

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ATLANTA - Five thousand stuffed animals donated by children in Gwinnett County schools were handed out to children in earthquake-ravaged Haiti on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The toys were collected at four Gwinnett elementary schools last spring, including Chattahoochee Elementary in Duluth.

The campaign to collect the stuffed toys was launched by Noah Osaba, a 7-year-old student at Chattahoochee Elementary. He dubbed the effort, "Bears for Haiti."

"I think it's great, really cool for them to get the stuffed animals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day," Osaba said

Osaba told Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Regan he was very happy to see the smiling faces of children who received the stuffed toys.

"I actually saw one of my stuffed animals in the pictures. It was the Cat in The Hat," said Osaba.

Osaba's parents, Robb and Amy, said they were proud of their son and delighted to see the stuffed animals finally get into the hands of Haitian children.

"It's great to see the kids happy. And what timing, Christmas Day," said Amy Osaba.

In addition to orphanages, the toys also were distributed at women's shelters. Robb Osaba praised two men who helped transport and distribute the animals, Michael Rettig, of GOTLIFT.ORG, and Adam Marlatt of GLOBALDIRT.ORG. These non-governmental organizations provide wide ranging humanitarian assistance in disaster-stricken and third-world nations.