JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas organization is asking for a specific kind of donation... teddy bears.
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties is in a teddy bear shortage and is asking for the public’s help.
The Advocacy Center is a place where children may have to relive the most traumatic experiences of their lives.
“The first time children come to our center, it’s because someone they trust has caused them some harm,” said Skye Odem, a family advocate at the Advocacy Center. “So, before they leave they get to come out and pick a teddy bear to take with them. It gives them a sense of control back in their life getting to choose a teddy bear. Teddy bears represent innocence and goodness and we just try to do our part to restore a little bit of that before they leave.”
The Advocacy Center has some bears right now, but they won’t last too long.
“It varies, how many interviews we do, but very easily we could go through these bears in a month,” said Odem.
They happened to get a donation today.
“For the kids, it would break the ice and make them feel a little more comfortable; it’s an uncomfortable situation that they’re in,” said Gregory Schrimsher, who made a donation today. “These people are here trying to help and there’s a lot of kids out there that need our support, so I think its important for the community to help out and provide that support whenever we can.”
Odem said a lot of the kids that come through the Advocacy Center don’t have many toys at home, so when they realize they get to keep one of them, it makes them really happy.
She said their huge smiles and happiness brings extra joy to the employees who are there to help them.
The Advocacy Center said the donated bears must be new and preferably more than eight inches tall.
They also accept books, other toys, and blankets as donations for the kids to choose after their interviews.
For more about the Advocacy Center, head to their Facebook page.