Last year Evin Whitfield was visiting his mom at Orange County Juvenile Court for Bring Your Child to Work Day, the Orange County Register reports. Evin noticed that there were a few sutffed animals placed on a shelf in a courtroom. He asked what they are for.
His mother, Titania Whitfield, who works as a court collections officer, said the court has a tradition of giving a suffed animal to each child whose adoption is finalized. Evin immediately replied that the court needs a lot more stuffies and he should do something about it.
As a result, Evin began a Teddy Bear drive with the help of his classmates at the Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro. His goal was to gather 100 stuffed animals. By the end of the toy drive a few months later, he had over 200 stuffies.
This week he was honored with a special Certificate of Appreciation from Orange County Superior Court for his toy-raising efforts. In a courtroom at the Lamoreaux Justice Center, Judge Clay M. Smith presented the award and shook hands with Whitfield while surrounded by a colorful sea of stuffed animals. “At the age of 12, he has learned to make things happen,” the judge said.
Evin said he wants to become a patent attorney. He adds that he plans on holding the teddy bear drive every year. “I wanted to give them something, because I didn’t know how it felt to have nothing of your own,” he said.
Judge Smith approves about six adoptions per week “We were getting low on toys and this will keep us going for quite awhile,” Smith said. “It’s the nicest, most beautiful collection of stuffed animals we’ve had.”