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Bears 4 Kids program donates stuffed animals to police department

bears_on_car For a child, any situation can turn traumatic and be scary. Imagine you wake up in the middle of the night to a fire in your home, and you are being pulled from the house by a parent, a firefighter, a sibling or a neighbor. You have on just pajamas and don’t even have time to grab your favorite stuffed animal or toy.

Or maybe you can’t find your family and are crying in the arms of a policeman at a store or big festival because you got lost and separated from Mom or Dad.

Maybe you are a victim of child abuse and you don’t know who you can trust and lean on for comfort because you don’t know if you are safe.

The Bear Hugs 4 Kids program was formed exactly for these situations and more. To aid in lessening these feelings, the Creek Travel Plaza organized the program to help alleviate fear and anxiety in children during such events as car accidents, domestic violence, house fires, etc. The Travel Plaza presented law enforcement officers with the bears Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Poarch Creek Tribal Police Chief Larry Hammonds said, “As police officers, we respond to many different situations. Domestic violence is among the most dangerous of all for police officers. I often remember responding to car wrecks and having to tell family members that a love one has passed away. These are a daily occurrence for public safety officials.

officers_with_bears “We often forget about how traumatic this can be for children,” he said. “Many times, kids witness the outcome of domestic violence in their homes. They are emotionally changed because of the event. As a police officer for many years, I see this as an opportunity for our public safety officials to connect with kids who are victims of these type situations, and just knowing someone cares may have a positive impact on their lives.”

For $25, you can purchase two Teddy bears — one will go home with you to keep or give to a family member or friend, and the other bear will be donated to local first responders and law enforcement officers.

If you would like to purchase a bear, call 251-368-0088 for more information and help a great cause.

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