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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bear Hugs

Teddy Bear Hugs Program

 Two seasons ago we started the Teddy Bear Hugs Program after taking a tour of some of the non-profit organizations around Homer.  We toured one called the Haven House which helps abused children, women and men get through very difficult times in their lives.

One of the rooms that they have is called their 'safe room' in which the police and councilors talk with the abused children to find out what happened to them.  During the interview with the children, they are allowed to choose a teddy bear to hold and hug.  This is in an attempt to give the child a feeling of safety and caring in hopes that the child will feel comfortable enough to tell the police what happened to them so the offender will be caught and charged for their horrible crime.  After the interview, the child is allowed to keep the teddy bear they were hugging and the child is then sent to a safe location to live with caring relatives or family friends that will care for and protect them.

Over this summer we found that not only adults wanted to donate teddy bears but kids wanted to help out as well.  One does not have to buy a new teddy bear but only to talk with their kids and have them pick one from their room that they want to donate to a child in need.  We had a lot of kids this year give one of their own teddy bears to the project, and that just warms the heart.

Anyone wishing to donate a teddy bear, feel free to find new or gently used teddy bears and bring them up to Alaska with you when you visit us.  Also, please donate teddy bears in your own community as well.  We are hoping this idea will spread to other areas and communities around the world.

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