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Stitches of love: Bel Air High School students crochet toys for young trauma victims

Bel Air High School students are partnering with the Yarn Addicts Crochet Guild of El Paso to make stuffed animals, which will be given to the El Paso Police Department. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

Students at Bel Air High School are stitching together a very special project for kids in times of need.

Stitch by stitch, the Bel Air High School fashion design class is putting their love into what will soon be cherished toys for kids going through tough times.

The students are partnering with the Yarn Addicts Crochet Guild of El Paso to make stuffed animals, which will be given to the El Paso Police Department.

“Hearing about giving them to the police officers to give them to the little kids it’s something very sweet and I think like it’s more deserving for them to have it especially if it’s handmade,” said senior Emily Gonzalez.

El Paso police officers on patrol will carry the toys around with them in their cruisers.

That way, they can give them to kids in traumatic situations whenever they respond to calls.

“A lot of them are children or they’re there with their parents during traumatic events and anything we can give them to comfort them will help the officer relate to the child,” said Sgt. Robert Gomez with the El Paso Police Department.

The crochet Guild has done this outreach before on its own, but this is the first time they’re enlisting high school students to help.

“I suspect that there’s going to be a lot more (stuffed animals) now that Bel Air High School is involved,” said guild president Dr. Barbara Peters.

Although the fashion design students are the ones making the toys, the school is encouraging all students to partake in the project.

Crocheting a toy will help students earn community service hours.

But for the fashion design students, this project is about more than that.

“I don’t know if (the kids will) end up keeping it and then have their whole life being like this has gotten me through this tough situation and it’s really nice to feel that way, to help a child,” Gonzalez said.

“Just the fact that they can make a difference in someone’s life. They don’t know that person but the fact that they know it's going to make a difference is paying it forward,” said fashion design teacher Rita Sanchez.

The toys will be turned in at the crochet guild’s crochet fair, which will happen at the high school on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

However, Bel Air High School students will be able to turn them in throughout the year as part of their community service hours.

Anyone can enter a project in the fair’s right categories, so the community is also welcomed to make crochet animals for kids in need.

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