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Students Send "1,000 Bear Hugs" to Children in the Philippines

School students from Carbon County worked together on a massive toy collection project.

Kidder Township, Carbon County – Fifth grader Anabel Dent tries to focus on helping
rather than the hurt she feels for her family in the Philippines. She said her
grandparents and uncles lost their homes in the typhoon. "It's really
devastating 'cause they're my family and I care for them and it just really
hurts,” she said.


Dent can’t reach across the ocean and hug the victims but she and her classmates at
Penn Kidder Campus found a way to ship hugs overseas. Student Ashlee Murray
said, "I felt really sorry for the kids in the Philippines and they should
have something that we have."


They’re collecting gently used stuffed animals for the “1,000 Bear Hugs” organization.
That charity gives social workers and psychologists plush toys to hand out to
children they are counseling in evacuation centers. "It's like you know
love and friends in those stuffed animals,” said student Alex Gajovich-Protich.


The Psychologists involved say children express themselves through play and soft
toys make them feel secure.


The charity accepts gently used toys. Organizers say if you have the money to spend
on a new toy, that cash could be better used by a trusted relief agency.


Students were happy to send some of their own toys. Madissen Bauer said, "I think
it's a good cause because some kids don't have anything in the Philippines."


So far they have collected more than 1,000 animals. Math teacher Nancy Fields
smiled, "The students at our school are so generous and so giving."


The Knights of Columbus Council 10772 is working with Saint Peter the Fisherman
Church in Lake Harmony to ship the toys overseas. If you would like to help pay
for shipping send donations to:

Saint Peter the Fisherman Parrish
2111 North Lake Drive
Lake Harmony, PA 18624

It’s important to emphasize “1,000 Bear Hugs” is an organization that distributes
toys through a network of social workers and psychologists in disaster
shelters.


Giving toys to other charity agencies, like the Red Cross, could slow down their
efforts to distribute life-saving supplies.


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