ORANGE >> Holly Hill Childcare and Learning Center has been collecting teddy bears and other stuffed animals for the 17th annual “Teddy Bears with Love” drive.

Thanks to the students, parents, staff, Ann Marie & Jim’s Cleaning Service, and other Orange residents, 129 stuffed animals were collected.

The response from residents after reading the newspaper article asking for bears was overwhelming.

From one woman’s Thanksgiving guests who brought “a bear” to dinner, to the young man who brought a beautiful teddy bear with cub that played “You Can Count on Me,” to the Bethany woman who hand crocheted four bears.

All the bears will be given over the holidays to children to snuggle with in Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and other local hospitals.

This project is the brainchild of the Fairfield University Student Alumni 17 years ago.