JONESBORO, Ark. (KTHV) - "Project Teddy Bear Love," an effort to collect enough stuffed bears and money to send to the children of Newtown, Conn., is underway in Jonesboro. Thousands of teddy bears have been delivered so far, and volunteers are lining up as well.
"We received teddy bears after the '98 shooting, and it meant everything to us. Everyone at school got them, as well as first responders, dispatchers, and people all over Jonesboro. So we wanted to be able to provide that for the kids in Connecticut as well. As well as the community," said Organizer Meagan Cremeens.
Pamela Herring's 12-year-old daughter was among the victims of the Westside Middle School shooting in Jonesboro, and she has played a major role in gathering donations.
Herring explained that after the Jonesboro shootings, the bears brought her comfort. Now, she wants to share that same comfort with those affected in Newtown.
"They had little notes on them that said 'I love you.' 'Hug me.' ...We gave those bears to every child in those schools," said Herring.
Herring said even 15 years later, those teddy bears are a reminder for many that love and support comes from not only your community but all over the world. She said that the bears represent just that and hopes it is a way the children receive comfort in a time of chaos.
Local churches and businesses are pulling together, hoping to pack a whole 18-wheeler full of love and kindness during the Christmas holiday.
The deadline to drop-off a teddy bear in Jonesboro is Wednesday. You can donate at the following locations:
- Southwest Church
- City Church
- Westside Middle School
- Valley View Jr. High
- The Refinery
- The Forum Theater
- KEG Towing
- Weiner Public Library
- Nettleton Jr. High
- J. Christopher Toys