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Piedmont Athens and PetSmart Collect Stuffed Animals for Pediatric Patients

Athens (Nov. 4, 2022) – Piedmont Athens Regional and PetSmart partnered with Safe Kids Athens and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office to host a “Stuff the Truck” event to collect stuffed animals for pediatric patients visiting Piedmont Athens facilities. More than 200 stuffed animals were donated during the two-hour event.

The PetSmart program, called the Chance and Lucky Donation Drive, is a nationwide initiative to support both local organizations and PetSmart Charities. The program started in 2004 with Chance (a stuffed plush dog) and Lucky (a stuffed plush cat) and has evolved over the years to include a few other characters, including guinea pigs, unicorns, penguins, and fish. PetSmart stores across the nation collect donations for various non-profit entities, such as police and fire departments, the United Way, animal shelters, and hospitals.

“Our concept is to have our pet parents (customers) purchase and donate a $5 plush toy so that a child could have a friend stay with them if they are in the hospital away from their families and pets during the holidays,” explained PetSmart Athens Store Manager Glenn Gulley. “The Athens location began partnering with Piedmont Athens in 2014 and our community donates an average of four to five thousand toys a year through this program.”

In addition to the donated items, 10 percent of the proceeds are donated to PetSmart Charities, which helps to fund many of the adoption agencies throughout the country.

Community Relations Director for Piedmont Athens Regional Tammy Gilland describes PetSmart as a strong community partner and part of the Piedmont family. “For the past seven years, the stuffed animals donated through PetSmart have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children receiving care at Piedmont Athens. We are so grateful to Glenn and his awesome employees for their annual support, and, of course, we thank the community for purchasing and donating the toys at PetSmart.”

Piedmont Athens Regional is proud to be a Georgia affiliate for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the official healthcare provider for the University of Georgia Athletic Association. 

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