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Soft wares: RaD Lab collecting stuffed toys for children in need

Nobody knows about the thrill of shiny new toys like Creighton University’s RaD Lab.

But for the second consecutive year, the University’s hub for all things digital is mounting a major effort to supply toys of the cuddlier variety for children in need this holiday season.

The RaD Lab’s Teddy Bear Drive is now underway with a box accepting new plush toys stationed on the stairs of the Reinert-Alumni Memorial Library. Fitting for the effort, the RaD Lab has created a Winter Wonderland around the box, replete with stuffed animals and a tree decked in Creighton white and blue.

“It’s just something we like to do as the holiday season approaches,” said Ryan Cameron, senior director for innovation and research and development at the RaD Lab. “It’s fun for us and a way to give back. The student interns and the staff here at the RaD Lab enjoy the collection and the decoration for the Winter Wonderland. It’s a nice reminder to people that we have much to be thankful for and much we can share.”

Last year, the RaD Lab amassed more than 200 items in the drive, resulting in donations to several local nonprofit organizations committed to aiding children and families in need. Cameron said the goal this year is to get 225 stuffed toys for donations to such groups as Operation Teddy Bear (an organization helping first responders who encounter children at the site of accidents or fires), the Siena/Francis House, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, and the Hope Center for Kids.

Cameron said the RaD Lab intends to collect toys through the New Year, making one donation the week of Christmas, and then a second donation in the first week of January. All donations must be new stuffed toys.

“We hope it brightens everyone’s holiday to walk past the display,” Cameron said. “And we hope people will think about giving back.”

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