The University of Central Arkansas police and society service-learning class has partnered with local law enforcement to collect teddy bears, toys, school supplies and winter coats to give to children in need.
The items can be donated at five locations in Conway throughout the month of November.
The UCA Police Department, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, Conway Police Department and Boys & Girls Club in Faulkner County will help the UCA class collect the items.
FCSO spokesman Erinn Stone said the program started to help child victims in domestic violence situations.
“The bears donated were divided amongst the different departments for officers and deputies to have on hand [in case] they responded to a call with children,” she said. “It acts as a tool to help comfort the child in a scary time.”
The FCSO will participate in an event from 7-10 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Faulkner County Boys & Girls Club, where Santa will be on hand to pass out the donated items, Stone said. The event is free and open to the public and will include free food, gifts, games and more.
“It is important to us to a part of this donation drive and event to be able to give back,” she said. “To get out in the community and a part of it and to show citizens we are here for them.”
On Wednesday, there were already dozens of donated new stuffed animals on display at the CPD headquarters in downtown Conway. “The Share-A-Bear program is a wonderful program,” CPD spokesman LaTresha Woodruff. “Because of the program we have dozens of stuffed animals on hand that make wonderful friends and provide consultation for children who may be involved in stressful or traumatic situations.”
People can donate new or “gently-used” stuffed animals, toys, school supplies and winter coats through the end of November at any of the following locations:
• Irby 306 at the University of Central Arkansas.
• Conway Police Department.
• Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.
• UCA Police Department.
• Boys & Girls Club of Faulkner County.
For more information about the Holiday Share-A-Bear event, visit http://cles.conwayschools.org/uploads/6/7/0/1/6701843/share_a_bear.pdf.