May 15, 2010

Brownies share the love with Teddy Bear Drive

Drive to provide used stuffed animals to children

CHAMPLAIN — "I was sleeping at my meme's house to spend the night, and (the toy) fell off the bed," said the Rouses Point Elementary School first-grader, hugging GeeGee the lamb during a recent Brownie Troop 4027 meeting at Christ and St. John's Episcopal Church in Champlain.

GeeGee didn't turn up missing until Alise got home.

"I cried and cried, and my mom called my meme," she remembered.

The two were reunited quickly, but Alise can imagine what it's like when there's no stuffed animal to comfort a child who is sick or scared. So she's excited about the Teddy Bear/Stuffed Animal Drive her Brownie Troop is organizing for the Champlain Fire Department and Champlain EMS.

The rescue personnel "give out teddy bears and stuffed animals — mostly teddy bears — if (children) are frightened," explained Hope Jolicoeur, 8. "It makes the kids feel better."

"I like it a lot because I think it's going to make kids happy," Alise said.

"I like it because we're helping other people," observed Samantha Disco, 9.

The drive is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at the firehouse, where the Brownies invite people to drop off gently used or even new teddy bears or other huggables.

"I think it's going to help a lot of kids on the scene to be braver, so they know they have at least one stuffed animal," said Grace Dumas, 9.

She imagines bears comforting children who have lost their homes to fire. And she knows just what she'd do if she ever faced such a situation.

"I'd run out with my stuffed animal Palo," she said.

She got the pug dog for Christmas, and it's one she especially loves.

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