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This year, Bank of Amer­i­can Fork will op­er­ate its 16th an­nual Project Teddy Bear. Ev­ery year, we are over­whelmed by your sup­port. This project never gets old for us. Since the project was started by Sandy Dubois in 2000, you have helped us help 91,422 chil­dren in Utah who needed a stuffed an­i­mal to hold. Stuffed an­i­mals are do­nated to lo­cal care cen­ters that give bears to chil­dren for play ther­apy or to chil­dren taken from their homes with­out any of their be­long­ings.

Ev­ery year, we hope our care cen­ters will call and say there’s no need for the bears — that all of Utah’s chil­dren are be­ing taken care of and none are vic­tims of abuse or ne­glect. Un­for­tu­nately, that’s not the case, so Bank of Amer­i­can Fork seeks the com­mu­nity’s help in in­creas­ing the num­ber of do­na­tions ev­ery year.

This year we want to col­lect 20,000 bears. We were so close last year! With fam­i­lies like the Mad­sens col­lect­ing more than 1,000 bears alone last year and schools like Span­ish Fork High School sup­port­ing the drive for nine years in a row, we know we can do it. This year, if we reach our goals, we’ll also have helped more than 100,000 Utah chil­dren.

There is some­thing you can do. Project Teddy Bear started its 16th an­nual col­lec­tion on Nov. 27. Drop off a new or clean, gen­tly-used stuffed an­i­mal or teddy bear at any of our 14 branch lo­ca­tions. Each stuffed an­i­mal you do­nate makes a dif­fer­ence for one of Utah’s chil­dren. We know you care about the chil­dren in your com­mu­ni­ties, so talk to us at www.face­ or @bankaf to find out how else you can be in­volved.

The Bank of Amer­i­can Fork is ac­cept­ing do­na­tions of stuffed an­i­mals as part of its an­nual Project Teddy Bear, a pro­gram that col­lects the toys and do­nates them to cen­ters that help chil­dren who are the vic­tims of abuse or ne­glect.

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