ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Eeyore has seen better days. The inflatable Christmas decoration is half-deflated and listing to one side.
The Winnie-the-Pooh character was donated last year to brighten the lives of foster children.
“We could use more blowups,” says Joe Brown, an automotive teacher at Pinellas Park High School and the leaders of a unique group of do-gooders. “The ones that are left, probably won’t even be put up this year, because they’ve seen the end of their days.”
Brown is also a foster parent. He enlisted dozens of big-hearted Pinellas Park High students to help brighten up Children’s Village, a private block of foster homes in St. Petersburg run by the Salvation Army.
The students decorated the homes last year. Eeyore, the Santas and snowmen are looking lackluster this year. They need more decorations. A lot more.
Major Chris Farrell of the Salvation Army says the act of goodwill is about more than just tinkling lights.
“The kids [living in Children’s Village] have been through a lot of very unfortunate things,” says Farrell. “When they seen young people, kids about their same age, maybe a little older, taking time out, showing them a little bit of attention, it’s a huge thing for these kids, especially this time of year.”
If you would like to donate holiday decorations for Children's Village, you can drop them off weekdays at the Salvation Army’s offices at 3800 9th Avenue N. in St. Petersburg.