Students at Wolf Lake Middle School went to school on last Saturday. No, they were not making up academic hours. They gathered together to create bags of We Care Bears to donate to the Apopka Police Department and the Apopka Fire Department.
Yesterday 2 dozen bags containing 500 We Care Bears were presented to Apopka’s First Responders.
The event culminated a week long teddy bear drive bear held by the school.
The We Care Bears Project was founded by 13 year old Jessica Carscadden when she was just 9 years old. Her project started in San Diego, California. with a simple teddy bear donation to her local fire station. Then she set a goal of providing 10 bags for all her neighborhood first responders. Since then her organization has provided more than 3,000 bags of bears (about 30,000 bears) to first responders all over the nation. When a first responder has a stuffed animal for young person they encounter on calls it makes their job easier (by calming the child and the scene) and makes what is often a very scary situation for the child a little bit less so.
Jessica began her life as an orphan relegated to a dying room because of a severe cleft lip and palate. She survived and was adopted by her parents when she was five years old. She has endured 5 major surgeries (with number 6 and 7 to occur this summer) and understands how calming a stuffed animal can be when you are in a tough situation
Jessica Carscadden is Peace First Fellow and 2014 Make a Difference Day Honoree, and a 2016 Care Bears Caring Ambassador– you can read more about her project and awards at wecarebears.com.
The We Care Bears Project at Wolf Lake Middle School is part of Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. TEGNA and Points of Light have joined together to sponsor Make A Difference Day, which has been celebrated for more than two decades annually on the fourth Saturday in October. This national day of community service connects people with opportunities to serve, increases the strength of communities and promotes civic engagement. Through Make A Difference Day, the We Care Bears Project is joining hundreds of other organizations around the country that are engaging their community in service.