Stickman Stew donates toys to YWCA

Stickman Stew and his friends aren’t just gifts. They may also be purchased to benefit domestic abuse services in Greenwich.

Stickman Stew and his friends aren’t just gifts. They may also be purchased to benefit domestic abuse services in Greenwich.

A Texas toy company has reached out to children in domestic violence shelters in Greenwich and Stamford to deliver a message of love and respect. Stickman Stew LLC, makers of the plush figurine line Stickman Stew and The Gold Heart Crew, donated toys to the YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, the town’s only licensed provide of domestic abuse services, and the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Stamford, which serves Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, Darien, Wilton and Weston.

Each of the Stickman Stew toys carries the slogan: “Respect life, respect each other, yourself and the world in which we all live.”

“Our director of marketing lived for years in Connecticut and wanted to help the kids there,” said Stickman Stew founder Jane Guinn. “Children in families where there’s been violence are often the forgotten ones. We wanted to do something to brighten their lives. After all, that’s what the holiday season is all about.”

According to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 56,000 individuals received services from its 18 member domestic violence agencies between July 2012 and June 2013. More than 2,000 victims of domestic violence received safe home or emergency shelter services.

Domestic violence shelters often experience an influx of families during the holiday season. Children arrive with terrified moms looking for a respite from their troubles and violence at home.

Adjusting to life in a shelter, even if it’s just for a few days, can be a challenge for everyone, and children in particular. “Every change can be scary and traumatic for a child,” said Meredith Gold, manager of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services. “They are leaving their family, home, pet, friends.”

To comfort the children at holiday time and throughout the year, the YWCA gives each child a bag filled with fun items such as a coloring book, a Beanie Baby and more. “That’s why Stickman Stew toys are perfect,” Ms. Gold said. “Not only are they adorable — really, really cute — but they are lightweight, can be bent into various shapes, and are easy to fit in the bag.”

Stickman Stew toys are based on the iconic stick-like figures that stone age men and women drew in caves 20,000 years ago and kids still draw today. “Parents like our toys because they don’t require batteries,”said Ms. Guinn. “They’re powered by a kid’s imagination. But each figure comes with a golden heart. It’s the one thing we all share.”

To help even more kids, Stickman Stew LLC will donate a toy to one of its kid-friendly non-profit partners  for every toy purchased online between now and Dec. 24. You can learn more about this special promotion, as well as the company’s mission of giving, by going to Stickmanstew.com.

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