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Girl and Toy Elephant Reunited After Accidently Being Donated to Local Thrift Store

Bellevue, WA 2/24/2012 09:12 PM GMT (WooEB)

It’s been a long standing TV sitcom plot. A child accidently sets their beloved toy on the ground, and another person unwittingly places it in the giveaway pile. The toy gets donated and the whole cast is sent into a frenzy as they try to get the toy back before the end of the 30-minute sitcom. Unfortunately, for the Dingo family this exact TV sitcom plot became a reality. 

Three-year-old, Sally Dingo, placed her beloved stuffed elephant on the ground near the toy giveaway pile. Sally was then called into the house for a snack. While in the house eating the snack, her 15-year-old brother, Todd, picked up the toy pile and drove it to the nearest thrift store. 

“Mom just told me to take the toy pile to the thrift store so she could have extra room in the yard”, Todd Dingo said. “I didn’t even think about checking to see if Sally’s Ella was in there.”

Sally immediately noticed her missing toy when she ran outside after her snack, but by then it was already on its way to One Man’s Trash Thrift Store. The toy pile was donated to One Man’s Trash Thrift Store but One Man’s Trash doesn’t sell toys. They donated the pile to A Basket of Gold Thrift Store, where the toys were washed and sorted for placement in the store. Sally’s elephant went through a disinfecting process, wash cycle, and was tagged for sale, where it sat on the shelf. 

“My daughter was so upset, and we started the search for Ella immediately. We looked everywhere in her tree house, in the house, in the storage shed, but she wasn’t anywhere”, said Sally’s mom, Tina. “It wasn’t until I really thought about it that I realized Todd must have taken it to the thrift store, and I knew we were in big trouble.” 

Tina immediately started calling around to local thrift stores asking if they had received a recent donation of toys, but got no leads. The elephant was considered a lost cause, until Tina walked by A Basket of Gold Thrift Store and saw Ella sitting there. 

“I don’t know what possessed me to drive to that part of town because I never go over there, but I did to pick up some special ingredients for my soup. And that’s when I saw Ella sitting on the shelf,” said Tina Dingo. “I probably looked crazy because I was screaming, ‘Ella it’s you I can’t believe it’. People probably thought I was nuts.” 

After two weeks apart, Ella and Sally were reunited. They have since visited the local library, went shopping for new clothes for Ella, and hosted several tea parties together. 

“Ella home now”, Sally said over a cup of tea. “She not going to leave me ever again.”

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