Sophia Schroeder and Alyxs Carman are attending the Otsego Elementary School. They created The Buddy Bear Project with the idea to gather as much stuffed animals as they can.
The initiative ran for about a week until this Friday. The two girls collected teddy bears and stuffed animals from schoolmates and from the community.
Teddy bears bring in big results
The end result? They gathered 549 stuffed animals. “I started losing count. We had bags and bags and bags of the bears all over the house,” said Jeff Schroeder, Sophia’s father to the Sentinel-Tribune. They made posters and Facebook posts to popularize their campaign. Also, they made YouTube videos.
“If people are in an emergency, little kids have something to hang on to,” Carman said about their use of the bears. The bears will be divided among all of Otsego’s fire departments including Haskins, Tontogany and Weston.
“I just didn’t know we were going to get that many,” Scott Carman, Alyxs’ dad said. He’s a fireman and added the bears would probably last awhile. Emergency crews give them to children in accidents and even those at the Grand Rapids Applebutter Festival who come in with a bee sting. The bears break down the defense mechanism that happens when strangers are caring for them, he said.