WAUSAU - With children in general, particularly in traumatic experiences, a little love can go a long way.

Wausau Quilters recently made a special donation of stuffed animals and quilts to be used by deputies when engaging children impacted by tragic and unfortunate events.

"We serve in a remarkable county," Washington County Sheriff Crews said in a statement.  "I cannot express the gratitude I feel when I see others reaching out to those in need."

Each year, the group commits to a community project using some funds received through the auctioning of its quilt at the annual Wausau Possum Festival & Fun Day. This year, the group had children in mind.

"We had thought about doing some small lap quilts for abused children," said quilter Shirley Walsingham, who has been a member of Wausau Quilters since 2010. "But we knew we couldn't make a dent in that situation."

With a little creative brainstorming, one member suggested combining stuffed animals with the quilts donation in order to impact more children.

The sheriff's office applauded the gesture.

"From providing a bear to a child during a car crash to encountering a family dealing with tragedy or grief, a small gesture, such as a stuffed animal or blanket allows law enforcement the ability to provide comfort and lessens the child’s anxiety," a WCSO news release stated.

The quilters were able to donate about 50 stuffed animals in addition to the lap quilts.

"We just try to help the community," Walsingham said, noting recognition pales in comparison to the rewarding feeling that comes from doing a good dead. The deputy said donations of this kind can make "all the difference in the world of a child."

And, it's that same difference that makes quilting special to the quilter and the person receiving it.

"The love that goes into it - usually you think of what they like, their personality, or the colors they like," Walsingham added. "It's a gift given from the heart."

The all-volunteer group meet s at Wausau Town Hall. For more information, contact them at Town Hall at 850-638-1781.