Students assemble 'comfort packs' in Barrington to help kids in need

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 12/13/2017 6:47 PM
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  • Zoe Snell of Arlington Heights and her mom, Karen, help others from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington assemble "comfort packs" Wednesday to be given to children and families in the Chicago area dealing with difficult circumstances.

      Zoe Snell of Arlington Heights and her mom, Karen, help others from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington assemble "comfort packs" Wednesday to be given to children and families in the Chicago area dealing with difficult circumstances. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Malani Butler, 11, of Wheeling writes a personal Christmas message as she and other students from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington assembled "comfort packs" Wednesday.

      Malani Butler, 11, of Wheeling writes a personal Christmas message as she and other students from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington assembled "comfort packs" Wednesday. Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Kellytoy donated hundreds of its award-winning Squishmallows to a group from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington. The toys were included in comfort packs for kids in need during the holiday season.

      Kellytoy donated hundreds of its award-winning Squishmallows to a group from Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington. The toys were included in comfort packs for kids in need during the holiday season. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Zoe Snell knows what it's like to be a kid dealing with stress and anxiety.

So the sixth-grader from Arlington Heights was happy to help Wednesday when students at Classical Consortium Academy in Barrington assembled dozens of "comfort packs" for Chicago-area children facing difficult circumstances.

The packs, which were donated to Chicago-based Safe Families for Children, included basic necessities like toiletries and clothing, as well as art supplies and toys known as Squishmallows, super-soft stuffed animals that help soothe children coping with anxious moments.

Zoe became such a fan of the toy for dealing with stress that she created a design of her own, a dog she named "Doug," and sent it to Squishmallow maker Kellytoy. The Los Angeles-based company was impressed and has agreed to produce and release Doug next year.

"It's a comfortable and relaxing toy and it helps to relieve anxiety," Zoe said.

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