Article By Sam Davis
A high five and many thanks to Evelyn Chernoff, Helen Riser and, of course, the wonderful members of the HDRPCA, for the annual Stuffed Animal Collection Project benefiting our law enforcement and fire protection communities. It was a rousing success. In all, 55 stuffed animals were collected and donated to the Sheriff and his staff on August 3, 2016.
The program was started by Evelyn and Helen a few years ago. Our members donate toys with all tags (other than price) attached so that recipients would know that they are new and not "gently used".
We then present them to the Department chosen for the year to use when comforting children involved in traumatic situations.
This years’ recipients, Sheriff Nelson and staff, were extremely enthusiastic in receiving our donation. As you can see, staff and deputies flooded out of the building to participate in our photo op and were overwhelmed with the generosity and efforts of HDRPCA. A great time was had by all. During the presentation, Sheriff Shane Nelson, indicated that the stuffed animals were invaluable when officers are in traumatic situations such as domestic violence calls, traffic accidents, and investigations where a child at the scene may be injured or under stress due to the situation. Sheriff Nelson said that giving a child a stuffed animal to hold and cuddle has a very positive impact, and officers routinely carry them in their patrol cars.
In addition to Evelyn and Helen, we thank Pete Olson, Allan Frickey, and Mike Simmons, for their time and the use of their red, white and blue cabriolets pictured in the presentation.
As you know, the HDRPCA won the National PCA award for public service this year. This is quite an honor as we were competing with 144 clubs, many with memberships 4x greater than ours. Great job!