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Thursday, December 23, 2010

That's a lot of teddy bears

Fairfield University collects more than 1,400

FAIRFIELD - A group of student volunteers at Fairfield University recently collected a record number of Teddy Bears for children in need.

In its 11th year, the annual Teddy Bears with Love program is a community service project spearheaded by Fairfield’s Student Alumni Association, according to a statement.
The group recently collected 1,477 bears for Connecticut children and some as far away as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, the statement said.
Since its inception, the holiday giving program has collected and donated nearly12,500 Teddy Bears,  the statement said.

Colleen McGinn, associate director of alumni relations, who oversees the project said, also in the statement said, “Believe it or not, the recession hasn’t seemed to have made a huge difference on our collection. While the numbers do vary each year, we find it doesn’t have much to do with the economy, as it does with people choosing to give to other charities.”

McGinn also said there "was a concern at one point they wouldn't be able to accommodate a request from a Philadelphia-based children’s charity before Christmas," the statement said. Then, an organizer for Philadelphia’s regional collection sent out an e-mail to the Alumni Chapter reminding everyone in the area to donate, and a local alumnus offered to purchase over 100 bears to make up the difference. “It’s instances like this that show the true spirit of giving,” McGinn said.

Alumni chapters from Boston, Chicago, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC served as area contacts for local alumni to donate bears, and McGinn said the success of drive has led other universities to develop a Teddy Bear drive of their own, according to the statement. “Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have established a program to fit the needs of their community,” McGinn said.

Erin Stahl, a senior and president of Fairfield’s Student Alumni Association says the Teddy Bears with Love program is a meaningful way for the Student Alumni Association, and the campus community to come together, and spread some holiday cheer. “I personally love the Teddy Bears program because each bear collected means one more smile on a child’s face, and I can’t think of a better gift to give each year,” she said, also in the statement.

The stuffed animals will be hand-delivered to 12 locations, including Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Georgetown Medical Child Life Program in Washington, DC, Variety-The Children’s Charity in Philadelphia, Overlook Hospital of Summit, NJ, and Suffolk County Child Advocacy Center in New York, the statement said.
Connecticut sites include Bridgeport and St. Vincent's Hospitals, Yale New Haven Children's and Connecticut Children's Medical Centers, St. Mary’s Hospital, and Action Bridgeport Community Development. “There’s something about driving up to the door of one of these hospitals and charities, and handing over hundreds of new Teddy Bears, knowing they’re going directly to a child,” McGinn said, also in the statement said.

For more information contact Colleen McGinn, associate director of alumni relations at 203-254-4280 or e-mail at

In photo: Fairfield University staff members left-right, Jessica Viner, Collen McGinn, and Maria Bolis

Editor's note: Information and the photo in this post was provided wholly by Fairfield University.



Anonymous Rejaye said...

I love it! I can only imagine a sick child in bed in a hospital receiving one of these donated bears. Just amazing!

December 29, 2010 at 9:38 AM 

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