CAMANCHE — Local Girl Scouts donated hundreds of stuffed animals to the Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross this weekend.

The Girl Scouts of Service Unit No. 46 have been donating to local charities for years. In past years, the girls brought canned goods to their annual skating party and later donated them to the local food pantry.

But this year, the girls decided they wanted to do something a little different.

At a recent Service Unit meeting, leaders and Girl Scouts were discussing what could be done to fill a need in the community. Liz Frett is a Girl Scout troop leader and the wife of Dave Frett, executive director of the Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

She previously mentioned to some troop leaders that the Red Cross was getting low on stuffed animals. The Red Cross gives stuffed animals to children who are victims of a fire, knowing that a simple toy can help comfort them. Several recent fires have left the Gateway Area Chapter with only a few stuffed animals because of the large number of families and children involved.

Leaders were thinking about what could be done and when it was suggested, everything seemed to fall into place.

Girl Scouts from the 26 troops in Clinton and Camanche included in the Service Unit have been collecting stuffed animals for the last month. They donated their own gently used stuffed animals and bought some new ones so area kids would have something fuzzy to hold close to them when they are scared after losing their home to a fire.

The Girl Scouts of Service Unit 46 turned out for their annual skating party at Roller Den 2000 in Camanche on Saturday and brought hundreds of stuffed animals with them, as well as several boxes of canned goods, which will be donated to the Benevolent Society to be put toward Easter baskets.

Girl Scouts in Troop No. 1087 presented Dave Frett with a check for $100. Frett said he has always been impressed by the community-mindedness and charitable spirit of the Girl Scouts. He thanked them for their giving and said area kids’ whose lives are disrupted by fire in the future will be comforted to know that other kids are thinking about them. He said the girls brought so many, the Gateway Area Chapter is going to have a stockpile of toys to hand out.

“I think we’re set for stuffed animals for a few years,” Frett said.