From first-graders to high school students, the community gave generously this year to help Bank of American Fork’s 15th annual Project Teddy Bear bring in 18,422 stuffed animals.
“If you’ve ever seen the sadness in a child’s eyes, you’ll understand why these bears are so important,” said Joy O’Banion, director of the Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center. Stuffed animals donated to Project Teddy Bear were given to hundreds of needy children for Christmas and will be given to atrisk children throughout the coming year. They will all be used.
During an emotional ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 18, Richard Beard, president and CEO of Bank of American Fork, presented these animals to the Salt Lake County Family Support Center, the Utah Valley Family Support and Treatment Center and the Family Connection Center in Clearfield. Bailey’s Moving and Storage, who generously donated boxes, moving supplies, trucks and labor to Project Teddy Bear, delivered the stuffed animals to the Utah crisis centers the next day. The total number of stuffed animals donated to Project Teddy Bear over the years reached 91,304 this year.
During the presentation, several school and community groups as well as families were highlighted for their support and donations to Project Teddy Bear, demonstrating that in this program, it is often children giving to children.
Zak Harrison and Luke Kindrick from the Spanish Fork High School Letterman’s Club hold donated teddy bears. The Letterman’s Club worked with the community, including several elementary schools, to donate 1,566 stuffed animals to Project Teddy Bear.