Oftentimes all you need is a teddy bear to hug and make you feel better. First grade students in the Gifted and Talented program at Lewis & Clark wanted to make sure local children in crisis situations receive comfort, so they decided to host a teddy bear drive.
The students made a donation presentation of collected teddy bears and other stuffed animals to representatives from the Moorhead Fire Department as well as the Dilworth and Glyndon Police Departments on February 23 to close out their We Care Bears Donation Drive, a service learning project as part of National Kindness Week, February 13-17. Fire Chief Rich Duysen of the Moorhead Fire Department accepted the donations on behalf of his respective department alongside representatives from Glyndon and Dilworth Police Departments.
The students collected donations of more than 277 new teddy bears and other stuffed animals at their school during National Kindness Week. Donations came in from school staff, students, families, and the community.
Prior to accepting donation, the students created an entire plan to operate their We Care Bears service learning project. They wrote daily “public service announcements” to be read over the school intercom, and crafted posters calling for donations of teddy bears that were distributed throughout the school and school neighborhood.
We Care Bears was started by Jessica Carscadden of San Diego, CA in 2013. She was comforted by her stuffed animals when she was scared while in an orphanage in China, waiting to be adopted. She gave her stuffed animals to the San Diego Fire and Police Departments to help other scared kids be comforted in a time of need. Now, many states have teddy bear donation drives, providing comfort and teddy bear hugs. This is the second year teddy bear donations have been made; last year’s total reached 550 teddy bears to cuddle.