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While many holiday toy drives may have wrapped up, a teddy bear drive is still under way in Monterey County, where the sheriff’s office has a program to provide the cuddly beasts to children in need of comfort. Some of the stuffed animals collected during the drive are given to children who otherwise might not get a gift over the holidays. But others are saved for the rest of the year to be given out to children undergoing traumatic events.
Patrol deputies carry the teddy bears in their cars so they can have them ready to give to children they may encounter on calls for crimes such as domestic violence or child abuse. The coroner’s office has more teddy bears on hand that it gives out when, for instance, a child is present for a death notification, according to the sheriff’s office. Hospital emergency rooms, crisis groups and homes serving children also distribute the bears. Donations of newly purchased teddy bears or other stuffed animals can be dropped off at any sheriff’s station through Dec. 31. Monetary donations are also being sought.
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