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What was the Jaycees Teddy Bear Transfer?

How-to-clean-a-stuffed-animalTeddy Transfer
by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter Early 1999

There’s a terrific program going on here in town that you might not know about here—it’s called the Teddy Train.
The concept is brilliant: Arm Foxboro Police and Fire personnel with stuffed bears and dolls, so when they go out on calls they can give them to children who experience a traumatic event. When kids have been in an accident or fire, or need to be transported by ambulance, emergency personnel want to make the child as comfortable as possible. A terry bear gives them something else to focus on besides their fear. Foxboro police answering domestic violence calls also carry bears, dolls and other stuffed animals to comfort children in crisis.

The teddy transfer has been going on for several years now, an idea initiated by local resident Steve Cohen, who generously donated dozens of bears to the town. When Mr. Cohen was unable to continue the endeavor, the Foxboro Jaycees took up the project.

Jaycee “bear” project chairpersons Scott and Michelle Rogers tell me that last Spring the students of Jill Fitzhenry’s 5th grade class at the Ahern Middle School collected many bears for this endeavor, and created a “train” in the classroom to place the donated bears. Fitzhenry and this year’s class will try to top last year’s donations, and the Jaycees are hoping to collect even more bears by sponsoring a “Teddy transfer challenge:” The classroom that collects the most stuffed animals between January 4 and April 2, 1999 will win a pizza party, sponsored by the Jaycees.

Scott Rogers explains, “I absolutely would like to see this be an ongoing project… The rewards are enormous.”

Collection boxes for the bears have been set up at the Foxboro Senior Center and the Ahern School. The Jaycees are asking people to donate bears, dolls and other stuffed animals for this very worthy cause, but ask that only “new” bears/dolls be donated, and that the bear/doll is “child safe” (in other words, the bear cannot have loose pieces that could come off and be swallowed by young children).

The Rogers and the project committee have been picking up the teddies from the school and the senior center, and will make sure the teddies reach local police and fire personnel.

{The Teddy Bear project went on for several years; at some point the rescue personnel has more than enough bears so further collection was unnecessary).


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