INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Kansas City-area family is frantically searching for a keepsake accidentally donated to a thrift store.

Andrea Cox and her family cleaned out their garage recently to make room for her mother, Gloria Gautieri, to live with them while undergoing chemotherapy.

The family just learned that chemo is no longer an option and Cox’s mother moved to hospice.

To help with the heartbreaking situation, Cox looked for a special Build-A-Bear reindeer. She said during better times her mother recorded the song “Skidamarink a-dink a-dink, Skidamarink a-doo, I love you,” and put the voice box into the toy’s foot.

Cox said her mother sang it to her growing up.

“And she sang that for the kids,” family member Judy Cox Morgan said.

Anytime they want to hear from Gautieri, or Nanny GG as they call her, they just press the foot of this reindeer and it will start singing.

The song is even more meaningful now since their grandmother is dying from stomach cancer and can no longer talk.

But the family said they accidentally donated the stuffed animal to the Red Racks thrift store in Independence about two weeks ago with other items they removed from the garage.

“She got rid of it on accident, trying to make room for her mom to come live with them before she got so sick,” family member Angela Morgan said.

“I guess I just didn’t even think and just tossed it in the bag,” Cox said.

Cox said her mother is no longer able to make a new recording.

Since she can’t leave her mother’s side, family friends are searching metro Red Racks locations for the stuffed animal. So far, they haven’t been able to find it.

“If anyone has time to go to that Red Racks, especially in Independence, and try to find that reindeer or any Red Racks and see if they can find that reindeer,” Morgan said.

The reindeer is white with multicolor hooves and antlers, and has a custom voice box in one of its feet.

The family hopes while they plan to say goodbye someone can step in for them or return the stuffed animal because even though Gautieri won’t return home, there’s still a chance the stuffed animal will.

Cox said they just want the stuffed animal back as a way to remember her mother and her voice.

A local radio station is giving out a $100 donation to the person who finds or returns the stuffed animal.

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