A teddy bear can go a long way

Justin Stadt gets his picture taken after he donates 122 teddy bears during Donate a Bear Day! at Camelot Moving & Storage in Valencia on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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When a child goes into an emergency room, a teddy bear is often the last thing that is on a family’s mind. Although, a plush toy can bring a great amount of comfort to a struggling child.

This was the idea behind the fifth annual Donate a Bear Day! put on by Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

“It really does comfort the children,” said Maria Strmsek, the director of volunteers at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

The community came together to donate some 2,700 plush toys—all in one day. It took all of last year to collect 5,000 bears so that is definitely progress.

One such community member was 15-year-old Justin Stadt from West Ranch High School. He unloaded a car full of multiple jumbo bags of teddy bears and plush toys—totaling 122 in all.

April Garcia, right, leads Justin Stadt to where the teddy bears should be dropped during Donate a Bear Day! at Camelot Moving & Storage on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Two school clubs, Key Club International and the Action Key Program, also participated with Stadt in donating the bears.

“I just love to help my community and it’s just a great way to link the High School with a great community project.”

The only question now is what to do with 2,700 different teddy bears who will be given to children struggling in an emergency room. Henry Mayo certainly doesn’t have the room for 2,700 teddy bears.

Fortunately, Camelot Moving & Storage was prepared. They hosted the event in cooperation with Henry Mayo and will be storing the plush toys and teddy bears at their location until the time a child needs them.

Justin Stadt fills out a form during Donate a Bear Day! at Camelot Moving & Storage in Valencia on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

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