Operation Teddy Bear-Tuscaloosa
It was the year of 2011. April 27th was a day many areas braced for bad weather. Meteorologists had been warning everyone of the deadly tornado outbreak a week in advance. We had been watching the news as the storm system began approaching 2 days earlier on April 25th, when thunderstorms spawned tornadoes in the Southern Plains, Oklahoma, western Missouri. April 26th storms continued to produce strong tornadoes in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
Fast forward to the morning of April 27th, 2011. Tornadoes had already hit North Alabama earlier in the day, but it was the F4 tornado which hit our city of Tuscaloosa and its surrounding areas that sparked the creation of Operation Teddy Bear-Tuscaloosa.The tornado narrowly missed our home and gratefully I wanted to bless others.
I knew I wanted to help in some way...to help the kids heal from the tornado. I saw a stuffed animal by the couch and I knew how to help. I would give out my stuffed animals. A few days later with the help of my grandparents and my mom, we made 250 sack lunches to give out along with my stuffed animals. We headed to Holt, an area which had been hit hard and my mission began.
That day I gave out all 46 stuffed animals (mostly teddy bears). I handed many stuffed animals to kids who had no home left. I knew I had made a difference and with opportunity, I would help as many as I could. Businesses and the public have blessed us tremendously with donations of stuffed animals. We have given out over 15,000 since April 29. 2011.
We make visits to schools, churches, hospitals and to people's homes. When possible, we travel to the area hit by tornadoes or natural disaster to hand deliver stuffed animals, food, and/or care packages. We are raising money for our IRS filing for our Federal Tax ID number for 501(c)3 Not for Profit status. Currently we are recognized as a charity in Alabama.