Stuffed Animals Drive Featured in Local Paper

Last month The OC Register (Orange County, CA) featured a story on Jordan and Aidan Ramsey's stuffed animals drive for El Salvador.  The article contains a few minor errors.  Neither of the boys traveled to El Salvador this summer and Aidan took the Silly Bandz that were collected to El Salvador in 2011.  Jordan served in El Salvador in 2010 and 2012.


Tustin students collect stuffed animals for donation


08/21/2013 12:28 PM



Two years ago, two brothers attending Arroyo Elementary led a project to collect multi-colored rubber bracelets from their classmates to donate to orphanages in El Salvador.

This time, Jordan and Aidan Ramsey have collected more than 1,000 stuffed animals from their classmates, their church and other sources.

"It was fun," said Aidan, 10, of the effort to collect the stuffed animals. "A little complicated, but we still got it."

They left for El Salvador on July 20 as a part of a team of 19; the toys are being distributed among kids in hospitals and orphanages there over the course of a week.

"They don't need stuff to be happy, but they're glad that they do," said Jordan, 11, who will be entering sixth grade.

The boys' mother, Jenni Ramsey is the aid and outreach director for the nonprofit group All Blessings International through Kentucky Adoption Services. She coordinated the trip in conjunction with Ripple Kids, a program implemented at Arroyo that recognizes community services efforts of kids. Volunteers have traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador and Haiti to help locals.

"The orphans in El Salvador don't have stuffed animals or toys," Jordan said. "They barely have anything."

He and Aidan spent a week in El Salvador in 2011 after collecting 4,000 Silly Bandz, which are silicone rubber bands molded into various shapes and typically worn by kids as bracelets.

"They really enjoyed them, they played with them all day," Jordan said.

Their mom began volunteering in El Salvador in 2009.

"I'm excited," Jenni said. "I feel like I'm blessed to love what I do."

It costs about $2,100 for each person on the team to make the trip. The team is comprised of mostly high school and college students affiliated with the Village Church of Irvine. Jenni leads 10 to 12 training sessions to help team members better acclimate to the culture. The group will stay in a nearby housing complex generally designated for people coming on goodwill trips.

"They're going to be pretty happy that the Americans care for them," Aidan said.



Contact the writer:, 714-796-7963, @luke_harold

To view the article online, go to

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