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Ava Leahey, 10, of Cicero, collected teddy bears for troops in Afghanistan to help them through the holiday season and as thanks for their service to the country.

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Cicero fifth-grader collects teddy bears for the troops

This Christmas, Ava Leahey wants every family to be together like hers will be. But, given the fact that the U.S. still has numerous troops stationed overseas, she knows that’s not a possibility for many. So instead, she thought she’d provide those troops with a little comfort to remind them of home this holiday season. The Cicero 10-year-old collected teddy bears, as well as other donations, to send to soldiers in Afghanistan. She sent several boxes of stuffed animals, as well as hygiene items, phone cards and other donations, to several different units on Monday, Dec. 17.

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