Sixth grade students from Katherine Legere’s advisory class at Searsport District Middle School presented more than 50 stuffed animals to the Searsport Police, Fire and Ambulance departments on June 7. The stuffed animals will be given to young children who have been affected by crimes or accidents.

Searsport Police Chief Richard LaHaye, Searsport Ambulance Director Cory Morse and Searsport Fire Chief Jim Dittmeier thanked the students for the donation, which was done as a community service project by the sixth graders. The students had two weeks to put up posters around the school in order to solicit stuffed animal donations, and in the end they collected more than 50 stuffed animals.

Legere said she thinks projects like these are teaching students valuable lessons.

“They gain a sense of community,” said Legere, “and they learn how to give back to the community.”

The students said they hope that the children who receive the gifts will feel uplifted and comforted.

Searsport Ambulance Director Cory Morse said he has seen the healing effect of gifts like these.

“They do appreciate it,” said Morse, regarding children who have been affected by crimes or accidents. “It means a lot to be able to hand a scared child a stuffed animal. We get to name it together and they keep it and hold it for comfort.”

Legere’s class was one of several advisory groups working on community service projects. Other projects included food drives, tree planting, money raised towards an animal shelter and collection of canned goods for donation.