Donate teddy bears for children of Newtown

Hersam Acorn and the Stratford Star is hoping to provide some comfort for the children of Newtown.

New Canaan Advertiser parenting columnist and staff writer Julie Butler was contacted as news of the Newtown school shootings spread by a friend who lives near Sacramento, Calif., area with an offer of help and comfort via “Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II.”

Teddy bears will be donated to children of Newtown as the town deals with the massacre of 26 people, mostly children.

“My friend Deborah Johns, whom I have known since 2006, when our Marine Corps sons were both deployed in the same unit to Iraq, contacted me today [Friday, Dec. 14] to say she wanted to help the students who lost their friends, classmates and teachers in Newtown,” Butler said. “She wrote to me: ‘Adam [her late son] held Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy nine years ago when the school shooting took place in Bezlan, Russia. He collected teddy bears for the children of the school, so that they could have some comfort when they returned to school from that tragic shooting. I want to do the same for Newtown … can you help me coordinate it there?’ It was an absolute no-brainer to say ‘yes.’”

Johns’s son, Adam, died in March of 2011, and in his memory and with his friends from Granite Bay High School in Granite Bay, Calif., she is coordinating a teddy bear drive this weekend at all Beach Hut Deli’s in the Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn and Granite Bay, and Nevada. She will then send the bears East, so that Butler can get them — and ones that she collects as well —to Newtown for distribution to the young, grieving students in that town.

Bears can be dropped off or sent to care of:  Hersam Acorn, Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II, 1000 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton, CT 06484. For local drop off, the office is located on the second floor and may be dropped off starting Monday, Dec. 17. Any business or organization wishing to serve as a collection site or needs to arrange a collection should contact John Kovach at jkovach@hersamacorn.com.

Bears can be donated until Friday, Dec. 28.

Bears can be donated until Friday, Dec. 28.

More sites will be posted as they are established.

“I realize that Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy — giving a child a teddy bear — may only be a small act of comfort for these traumatized children, but I think any and all acts of kindness can only help these poor kids as they move forward,” Butler said. “As a parent, this shooting is gut-wrenching when you think about the parents of those 20 children whose lives were cut so suddenly, viciously and horrifyingly short. And it feels just as awful to imagine what will go on inside the hearts and minds of the students who will have to walk through the doors of their school again. Having a stuffed animal waiting there — a ‘fuzzy wuzzy’ — just seems like a good idea. I am so grateful for Deborah for this.”

Information can be obtained from Butler at jbutler@ncadvertiser.com.

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