Holy Family Catholic School, located in the City of Stow on Kent Road, recently organized a Teddy Bear Brigade to gather donations for children in need of comfort or security in the community. The initiative gathered close to 300 stuffed animals in just four days during Holy Week.

While looking for a way to involve students directly within the Stow community, the Holy Family School Parents’ Club came up with the idea after observing other cities – both locally and nationally – organize similar fundraisers.

“We thought this would be a perfect opportunity for our
kids to help other kids,” said Lisa Wren, Parents’ Club Technology Officer. “We simply asked our students to help other kids within their own city, and that’s all it took.”

Teddy Bear Brigade is a national ministry that accepts donations of new and gently used teddy bears and stuffed animals to provide comfort and security to students facing tough situations.

“Too often you hear of children being involved in traffic accidents, house fires or domestic situations, and your heart just breaks for them,” said Wren. “The idea of a first responder being able to reach in their trunk, grab a stuffed animal and hand it to a child who is scared, confused or hurt offers a little peace of mind. It’s a way for a police officer or firefighter to help comfort that child in a very stressful situation.”

During the last week of Lent from April 15 to 19,students were encouraged to bring in new or unused stuffed animals to Holy Family and donated a total of nearly 300 items.

“The dedication to giving back that the students and staff at Holy Family Catholic School showed during Holy Week is inspiring,” said Mayor John Pribonic. “They made their first Teddy Bear Brigade a massive success, and it will benefit our entire community in Stow for years to come.”