BUCKHANNON — Police officers regularly encounter children while responding on scene to various incidents, and often times this can be a scary situation for the children involved. Typically officers like to have stuffed animals or toys to give to the children to make these situations a little less scary for them and put their focus on something else. One local resident realized this need and is currently collecting stuffed animals to donate to local police departments so these officers can be better prepared.
Yvette Snyder Squires, of Buckhannon, said she realizes just how upsetting it can be for the kids put in these positions. Squires’ son, Kane Bender, is an officer in Harrison County and after hearing that the officers could use stuffed animals to hand out to the children she wanted to find a way to help.
“I decided the best time to hold such a drive would be before Christmas,” Squires said. “Most parents I know are looking to sort through their children’s toys to make room and organize.”
“So I called upon my friend to design a flyer to distribute. I posted it to social media and within a couple hours I already received messages from people wishing to donate,” she added.
After starting the stuffed animal drive Squires says the response has been bigger than she ever expected.
“I have had such a great response with donations,” she said. “So much so, that my house is quite full of stuffed animals.”
Squires said that she has spoke with her son’s police chief in Clarksburg and he was extremely appreciative of the interest to collect stuffed animals for the officers to disburse. She then added that Buckhannon is her home and she also plans to make donations to the local police departments here.
“We really do live in a great community where there are so many people who are willing to help others,” Squires said.
Donations are being accepted through the first week of December and can be taken the various drop-off locations:
-Lavish Salon, Buckhannon, Angie Hinchman
-Kids R Kids, Buckhannon, Sandy Tomey
-Buckhannon Elks Lodge #1736
-Chapel Hill United Methodist, Risë Straight Hanifan
-Percheron, LLC, 4th Floor, Bridgeport
-Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department, Nutter Fort, Chief Jermeny Haddix
West Virgina Heritage Crafts, 34 Quiet Dell School Road, Mount Clare, Joyce Harlow