Stoneham Fire Department Receives Donation of Plush Dog Toys from 9-year-old Boy to Ease Trauma of Other Children
For immediate publication
STONEHAM – Chief Matthew Grafton is pleased to announce that a local boy has donated approximately 40 plush dog toys for firefighters to distribute to traumatized children.
Trouble the Dog is a soft toy that was designed by Sheila Duncan of Massachusetts in 2006 after her own family and a young niece lost several family members and a family dog in a short period of time. Duncan created the toy to comfort and inspire children in need. In the years since Trouble’s popularity grew, Duncan has also contributed to a series of books on Trouble.
The toys were donated to the Stoneham Fire Department by 9 year old Darius Noonan from Wakefield.
Darius is the adopted son of Kevin and Maria Noonan and shared his own experiences in dealing with trauma with his foster family at an early age. During this time, someone gave him a Trouble the Dog soft toy.
“That was like his safety blanket,” said Kevin Noonan. “Then one day we just sat around and he said, ‘Mom and Dad, I want to be able to give one of these dogs to other kids when they have a bad day.
The Noonans Duncan had previously met soon set out to raise money to buy the plush toys and distribute them around the area. The effort began with a post on Facebook, but quickly exploded when the family was surprised by the support.
Since then, the family has raised over $ 10,000 to purchase and distribute the toys, and to deliver them to offices of the Department of Children and Families, the police force, and the fire department, among others.
Stoneham Firefighters thanked Darius by letting him drive around town in a fire truck and even honking him.
“I would like to thank Darius for his generous donation that our firefighters will use to help children in need,” said Chief Grafton. “I encourage everyone who wants to support Darius’ efforts to do so so that even more children can be helped through this meaningful work.”
The Stoneham Fire Department will now make the dogs available to children who have suffered trauma from car accidents or other incidents to comfort them.
To learn more about Trouble the Dog, visit: https://troublethedog.com/. To donate to Noonan’s efforts, you can do so through Venmo at @ dsnoonan12.