In a survey commissioned by Build-A-Bear Workshop in 1997, more than half of all respondents surveyed (2000 adults) mentioned they still own a stuffed animal. More than 70% said they plan to keep their stuffed animal forever.
When Build-A-Bear shared the survey results with clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Shefali Tsabary, he noted that a childhood stuffed animal can provide comfort while also helping us work through feelings of uncertainty. It's no surprise then that 30% of respondents said a sense of comfort was the first memory that came to mind when thinking about a childhood stuffed animal.
At CGC, we, too, hope to provide comfort, familiarity, and a sense of safety to a child during a time of uncertainty. Outside of the care, we provide at the Center, we sat back and thought, what else can we do to give a little comfort to children in need within our community? A light went off! What about a teddy bear? Commence Operation Teddy Bear.
The timing would be perfect for coordinating a teddy bear donation! We saw an opportunity to support a local fundraising effort, Renda Broadcasting's Teddy Bear Fund Drive, to move our vision forward. And with the help of local retailer Luxenberg's Jewelers, who generously agreed, we were able to purchase two big boxes of teddy bears.
Next, we needed to find an outlet(s) to continue our mission. Who might find a child in a stressful situation where a teddy bear would help to calm down? Why we actually came up with two organizations right off the bat...our local police force, Indiana Borough Police Department (IBPD), and neighboring agency, JusticeWorks YouthCare.
According to Patrolman Niver from the IBPD, the teddy bears donated will be used in conjunction with their Comfort Program to help provide peace, safety, and comfort for victims in our community. Likewise, JusticeWorks representative Lindsey Jones said, "I think these bears will bring a sense of safety, comfort, and smile to our youth and families during these times."
Thank you, IBPD and JusticeWorks YouthCare, for helping us fulfill our goal. The teddy bears are in good hands. Mission complete!