MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Students at a Memphis school are stepping up to help children in crisis by donating hundreds of stuffed animals to a local law enforcement agency.
There were hundreds of stuffed animals donated by the First Assembly Christian School in Cordova.
The stuffed animals will all be used to comfort children who find themselves victims of violence and other traumatic events.
“When I was in the patrol division, anytime we had an opportunity to carry some with us we'd put them in the trunk of our vehicles and if we go on a call if someone could use that comfort, use that pick me up,” said Lt. John Garcia, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Friday, FACS, a school with 560 students, donated all 827 of the stuffed animals to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies will hand them out to children and sometimes adults with whom they interact during difficult situations.
Lt. John Garcia says he's seen these stuffed toys make a major impact on scenes.
“Going from possibly nothing and being in a possibly traumatic experience to having that peace and comfort of ok I got something I can hold on to, a buddy and hope,” said Garcia.
“It's children reaching out to children. Our students understand that these are their peers,” said Bryan Sanders, FACS Head of School.
The “Donate A Bear Drive” is a yearly event for the school, but this year they exceeded their wildest expectations.
“It's overwhelming, when I walked in I started recording it myself with my own phone because I couldn't believe it,” said Garcia.
“When I walked in earlier today I was kind of like the Lieutenant I was like oh my gosh, this is amazing,” said Sanders.
FACS administrators hope their students learn an important lesson about community service with this adorable gesture.
“We reinforce this with our students that we want to care for others and we want to reach out to others and we want to be kind,” said Sanders.
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