It’s official! At a December 6 ceremony at National Geographic’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, National Geographic Kids set a Guinness World Record (GWR) for the world’s largest gathering of plush toys—2,304, to be precise! Since June, stuffed animals have been sent in by National Geographic Kids readers from countries all over the world, including Japan, the Czech Republic, and Norway.
The record was officially witnessed by Toys for Tots representative Staff Sgt. Johnny Noble, WUSA-TV 9 chief meteorologist Topper Shutt, and Washington Capitals mascot “Slapshot.” National Geographic Kids magazine Editor in Chief Melina Bellows officiated the ceremony, and the record was accepted by GWR representative Stuart Claxton.
At the ceremony, National Geographic Kids reader Shawn from Newburgh, New York, also received a certificate of outstanding achievement for organizing a drive at his school to collect stuffed animals. The 237 animals that seven-year-old Shawn contributed were the largest single donation in the record.
In addition to setting a new world record, the toy collection serves a good cause. All of the stuffed animals were donated to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program, which collects new toys to distribute to needy children during the holiday season.
“It was really fun seeing all the different kinds of animals readers sent in,” said Rachel Buchholz, National Geographic Kids’ special projects editor, who organized the record-setting effort. “But it was even better knowing that all the stuffed animals will be given to needy children.”
A big thanks goes out to all of you who helped set this record!