Almost 3000 stuffed animals were collected as donations for the latest Bears to Care Program to give stuffies to children in crisis situations by MVAC, KEYC News 12 reports.
MVAC began the Bears to Care Program last year. The goal is simple – it collects and stuffed animal donations which are given to firefighters, policemen and emergency responders to keep in their vehicles. When they respond to a situation where children are involved, they can give them a stuffed animal to make them feel better.
The Bears to Care program also accepts monetary donations, which are used for buying more stuffed animals. So far around 3000 stuffies were collected or donated and are given to children in crisis situations in the nine-county area.
“It just helps when they’re scared and a bad situation has happened. Sometimes a firefighter comes in full uniform on and they’re scared and nervous and it just helps to kind of relax them and give them something else to focus on versus the situation going on at home”, says Family and Community Partnership with MVAC Chrystal Wilkie.
Around 250 bears will also be distributed at Mankato’s Night to Unite on Tuesday, August 25.
Using stuffed animals to help children feel a little bit better in serious situations is a practice that is gaining popularity among first responders. After people see the positive effects a simple stuffie can have over a child, it is a no-brainer to continue to collect stuffed animals and always have a couple handy in the respond vehicles.