PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) inspects new stuffed toy samples to make sure they are safe to distribute, which means that each year, the department accumulates hundreds of toy samples, according to L&I and the Department of Human Services (DHS). During the holidays, they help those stuffed toys find new homes.
On Monday, the departments made their annual donation of stuffed toys, which will be distributed to Pennsylvania families through the DHS Holiday Wish program, the departments said.
“We collect these toys throughout the year because it’s our job to make sure they’re safe for all children in Pennsylvania. Donating our annual collection is a special opportunity to spark a little joy for a few of those children each holiday season,” L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said.
L&I must inspect all new stuffed toy samples for contents, choking hazards, and general safety. Toys that pass the inspection get a registration number, which is on every stuffed toy sold in Pennsylvania, the departments explained.
Over the past six years, L&I has donated around 3,800 toys that passed inspection to holiday gift drives, according to the departments.
On Monday, L&I delivered almost 600 toys to DHS for its Holiday Wish program, through which participants can select a few gifts they would like and state employees sponsor a family or individual to make sure they receive special gifts during the holidays, the departments said.
“We want to do our part during this season of giving to help make the holidays better and brighter for the families we serve. Holiday Wish allows us to give a little extra help to our neighbors who may be struggling or having a hard time,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead.
The Holiday Wish gifts are distributed in December by commonwealth agencies and the Pennsylvania National Guard, according to the departments.