Employees from the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Industrial Compliance & Labor and other Commerce employees donated their lunch hour today to carefully repair more than 300 stuffed toys to be donated to children this holiday season.
“This is a wonderful tradition that gives us the opportunity to help brighten the holidays for children throughout Central Ohio,” said Commerce Director David Goodman.
The Division’s Bedding and Upholstered Furniture laboratory inspects filler material inside representative samples of stuffed toys to ensure they are safe and accurately labeled. Manufacturers send hundreds of items to the lab in Reynoldsburg each year where they are cut open by technicians to examine their contents. The technicians perform chemical and microscopic tests on hundreds of different types of fillers used in toys produced by manufacturers from around the world.
After inspection, the toys are set aside until the holidays when they are repaired by state employees who sew the incisions closed making them good as new. This is the 26th year of the event, named the “Norman DeHaas Annual Holiday Sewing Project” in memory of long-time Bedding Section supervisor Norman DeHaas, who was an advocate of the project and active in local charities.
The stuffed toys will be donated to several local charitable organizations, who will give them to needy children this holiday season.
[Note from the editor: One would think the above could be improved by replacing holiday(s) season with Christmas. Yet, there are three different holidays celebrated between Thankgiving and the New Year. They are Chanukah (Dec. 20-28; Christmas (Dec. 25), and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1). Gift giving is characteristic of all three tradistions. The term “holidays” may be religiously neutral language but this editor previous the founding American tradition of celebrating the birth of Christianity.]