Thursday, September 28, 2023

Williamsburg PetSmart’s Holiday Stuffed Animal Program Serves Thousands of Local Children

The PetSmart store on Monticello has partnered with United Way of the Virginia Peninsula to donate thousands of stuffed animals to local families. (Courtesy of Unsplash)

WILLIAMSBURG — The PetSmart store located at 4900 Monticello Ave donated over 2,100 stuffed pets to local families this holiday season.

PetSmart has partnered with United Way of the Virginia Peninsula (UWVP) for the last several years to benefit United Way partners, including The Arc of Greater Williamsburg, House of Mercy, Child Development Resources, Grove Christian Outreach Center, the Salvation Army, Peake Childhood Center and the Center for Child and Family Services.

Since 2018, PetSmart has donated stuffed animals to UWVP for distribution to children through these agencies through its annual Holiday Stuffed Animal Program. The store has donated over 50,000 items since its launch.

“Our partners at PetSmart have put smiles on the faces of thousands of children over the last three years, while raising money and awareness,” UWVP’s COO & Director of Community Impact Charvalla West said. “When an individual or family experiences a financial hardship, families sometimes have to make difficult decisions about holiday giving. We appreciate what PetSmart is doing to make sure families going through hardships across our community have a happy holiday season.”

PetSmart Williamsburg Store Manager Nikki Martello acknowledged the support from the store associates in this initiative.

“The staff has embraced the project,” Martello said. “It is a little competition and yet very gratifying to know how we are helping so many children, seniors, and adults with disabilities and the people who care for them.”

West said that PetSmart’s program represents UWVP’s 2021 campaign theme, which has been centered around connecting the community through kindness.

UWVP is a nonprofit organization that meets the community’s educational, health and financial needs. For more information, visit its website.

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