Local group gathering stuffed animals to help foster kids

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Chris Wilkinson with Smoky Mountain Process and Legal Services and a group of local business owners are coming together to collect stuffed animals for children to use in juvenile court.

The groups will collect stuffed animals until early April. / Source: WVLT News

The group is hoping the toys will help relieve some of the fear and anxiety that kids feel while in a courtroom.

"There is only so much that we can do to prepare them for that," said Hannah Grasman of Camelot Foster Care. "The sad reality is that a lot of them do get familiar with court and sometimes you will hear kids like' well, I get my stuffed animal tomorrow' - instead of 'I have court tomorrow'. So at the most it can replace some of the negative thoughts about court."

The group will be collecting the stuffed toys until early April, which is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Here are a list of drop off locations:
- Burton Mckinnish PLLC (Mayville and Knoxville locations)
- Monkey Vapors (Knoxville)
- Smoky Mountain Process and Legal Services (Knoxville)
- Camelot Care Centers(Knoxville and Maryville)

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