By Jon Busdeker

Olivia Sain may be an adult, but she needs your stuffed animals for the kids at The Salvation Army.

Sain, 29, who is the daughter of Gary Sain, the former Visit Orlando CEO who passed away suddenly at age 61 in 2012, wants to continue a tradition started by her late father. For years, Gary Sain collected stuffed animals and passed them out to the children at The Salvation Army’s annual Thanksgiving dinner.

To keep the tradition going, Sain , 29, is collecting new or gently used stuffed animals and will distribute the toys starting at 11 a.m. at The Salvation Army’s “Helpings of the Heart” event on Nov. 23. Sain told The Collective Blog that she already has about 300 stuffed animals. Sain is hoping to collect as many stuffed animals as she can up until Thanksgiving.

Last year, The Salvation Army served 20,000 meals on Thanksgiving at its West Colonial Drive location.

Anyone interested in donating can drop stuffed animals at Talbots on Park Avenue in Winter Park through 8 p.m. today or at The Salvation Army at 416 West Colonial Drive in Orlando on Thursday starting at 11 a.m.

You can also email Olivia Sain at [email protected].

This story was originally posted on

Jon Busdeker

Jon Busdeker is a freelance journalist and videographer. He lives in College Park and is a co-host of "Bungalower and The Bus." Check out his website at

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