Teddy Bear Goes to Court


Community volunteers from all over Colleton and Dorchester Counties took part in stuffing Teddy Bears to be presented to the Family Courts in Dorchester and Colleton Counties for distribution during Adoption Hearings.

A total of 79 registered volunteers and a few unregistered took part in the event. The 176 unstuffed animals were completed by members of the Elks Lodge 1988, American Legion, Faith Church, the Veterans Victory House, Boy Scout Troop 646 of Walterboro, Boy Scout Troop 725 of Knightsville, American Legion Post 93, and Faith Church.

Project organizer John Merrell explains the process, “Well, the teddy bears came in without stuffing without hearts, and everything. They all came in and I wanted to get as many people involved as possible. One of the things I told the the scouts is that they’re not going to be here when the judge presents these to the kids, but they need to know that they were part of this type of project to make somebody feel real nice.

Volunteers took the unstuffed animals, batting, and small hearts. The animals were stuffed and before closing a heart was selected given a kiss and placed inside the animal before closing it.

Merrell added, “One of the volunteers from the Veterans Victory House that was involved with suffering animals was the commander of Seal Team Three. He had three Purple Hearts. We have purples hearts as one of the colors to put into the bears, he asked to have three Purple Hearts, he sat there with the little purple hearts waiting to finish the bear so he could go ahead and place that little purple heart into each of the 3 animals.”

Judge Gerald Smoke, Jr. says the bears will be used when family court does adoptions. “It’ll be something these kids will have to remember that special day.”

The $2000 Grant was awarded by the Independent Order of Foresters operating as Foresters Financial, a fraternal benefit society headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

For more information visit foresters.com