Tucked away among the equipment local law enforcement officers keep in every squad car is often a small stuffed animal.
Police bring these toys out for children during potentially traumatic calls, such as domestic violence incidents and car accidents.
To help local police keep up their store of stuffed animals, Brunswick High School’s Key Club recently sponsored a teddy bear drive and spent two months collecting toys to donate to the Brunswick Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol.
“Whenever people are in accidents, the police do give the kids teddy bears,” said Brunswick High sophomore Moriah Davis. “So we just thought it would be nice to start collecting some of them for the police.”
The students collected two boxes of teddy bears, which they donated to police this past week.
The group advertised the toy drive around school, at local churches and organizations and on social media.
“We’re a community service group. That’s the seed of our organization,” said Brunswick High junior Camryn Jones. “We just want to help out the community.”
Jones said she hopes the donation will provide a source of comfort for local children.
“Some of the kids are traumatized from the abuse disputes or the accidents, and these teddy bears might be a way of comfort for them,” she said.
The Key Club plans to continue the teddy bear drive, and the students encourage community members to donate.
“You might not think that donating some teddy bears would actually help somebody, but it could really help them in the long run,” said Brunswick High senior Sierra Gant.
Donations of more stuffed animals can be brought in person to Brunswick High, 3885 Altama Ave. in Brunswick.
Brunswick Police Detective Carla Futch collected the donation this past week. She said the toys will be kept in police cars and at the local station.
“Sometimes, we have to go to houses where there may be a bad incident, where their mom or their dad or somebody may be getting arrested,” Futch said. “Or maybe something where somebody’s sick and the squad has to come. We talk to the kids, and giving them teddy bears does calm them down … The children, they really appreciate it.”