April 17, 2000
Students from Bear Creek Elementary presented their collected teddy bears to Woodinville Fire & Life Safety Public Education Officer David Leggett (left) and acting Battalion Chief Tad Wineman.
Photo by David Leggett.
WOODINVILLE--Five students from Mrs. Schmied's morning kindergarten class at Bear Creek Elementary donated around 50 teddy bears to the Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District's annual PTA Teddy Bear Patrol. The children delivered the bears in Bear Creek's Vixie Wagon, a red Radio Flyer wagon named for former Bear Creek principal Arlen Vixie, who donated the wagon.
The donation capped off the March 28-April 7 drive led by Bear Creek's PTA Social Services Chair Tema Schott, who accompanied the little philanthropists to Fire Station 35. The children were given a tour of the station's aid car and fire engine, said district Public Education Officer David Leggett.
"We use the bears as a 'comfort tool' for kids we take to the hospital in the aid car," said Leggett. "If we have to bandage a cut or splint a broken arm, we do the same thing for their bear first and explain why we're doing it, to calm their fears.
"People hold onto the bears for years. Many adults have come to the fire stations with their bears to tell us how much better the bears made them feel during their childhood traumas. They are even appreciated by some senior citizens living in Canterbury Square and Brittany Park who we take to the hospital."
The bears are stored at the district's three fire stations and are also used by local police to comfort children involved in their cases, said Leggett. Although the drive is officially over, Leggett encouraged anyone interested in donating teddy bears to call him at 425-483-2131.
"One of the boys almost became the first recipient of one of the new bears when he tripped and scraped himself a little," said Leggett. "But he gutted it out and decided some other child might need it more than he did."