This past week we had some awesome finds from our local library. On the top of that list is a book by David McPhail, The Teddy Bear. This book was the perfect read for not only my 5 year old but for my 9 year old also.
I skimmed through it at the library and immediately knew I had to borrow this one. The book is about a little boy who has a favorite teddy bear (something most kids can relate to) that goes everywhere with him. Sadly, the boy loses his bear but the bear is not lost for long as another finds it and loves it just as much if not more. It's the person who finds it that's the surprise and from there a very strong message is shared. The Teddy Bear is a story of compassion, love and kindness.
Once I finished reading this aloud to both of my children I asked questions to be sure they understood the message. My 9 year old grasped it better than my 5 year old which I expected but with a bit more explaining my 5 year old understood enough to appreciate this sweet read.
This book and the message it shares encouraged me to find a way for my children to spread the same compassion as the boy in the book. As most kids, my two have their fair amount of stuffed animals and normally we save them up and donate them to Goodwill. However, I wanted to take things a step further so I searched and found organizations that accept stuffed animals for children AND the elderly who are experiencing traumatic type situations. Places like firehouses, police stations, emergency services even nursing homes are happy to accept stuffed animals to have on hand. They use them to comfort the sick, injured or whatever emergency/crisis they are tending to.
From now on as my kids go through their stuffed animal friends we will put them away until we have a large enough bin and then we will donate them to our local police, fire and emergency services.
If your child(ren) or organization that you might belong to, like boy or girl scouts, would like to do the same simply contact your local authorities and ask if they would be interested in your gently used stuffed animals. Or you can contact the organizations I've listed below and share with them. I will be leading a girl scout troop this upcoming year and this will definitely be one of our projects.
It's so great when a simple book like The Teddy Bear can send such a strong message that it encourages acts of kindness and love.
Organizations accepting stuffed animals:
Stuffed Animals for Emergencies
More books that share the message of compassion:
Click here to be brought directly to the page with these books