Teddy bears provide comfort to kids in crisis
Children undergoing traumatic situations requiring them to be transported by local law enforcement may get some comfort from stuffed animals that will be carried by police, town marshals and deputies in Putnam County thanks to the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity on the DePauw campus.
The philanthropic organization is a national fraternity that encourages service projects. There are about 20 members at DePauw. The group spent most of the summer collecting the gently used stuffed animals which will be distributed to every law enforcement agency in the county.
"We have collected 75 animals. We spend most of the summer getting them from our hometowns," said Fraternity Vice President Amanda Meyer.
The DePauw Junior met David English earlier this year. He encouraged her to work with the United Way and its agencies. Their fraternity also makes fleece blankets for kids at Putnam County Hospital, participates in the Linus project which provides blankets for Away Home Shelter. They also help with projects with Hope Haven, Putnam County Family Services and Johnson Nichols Health Clinic.
English told Meyer, "Tying into the United Way would help them reach a larger community,"
"It's really a Hodge podge of projects," said Meyer. "We make blankets, collect gently used stuffed animals and clean up the nature park.
Meyer got involved with the fraternity after talking with a friend who encouraged her because it helped plug her into campus life.
English is hoping to develop a future project working with third and fourth grade students in science.
Meyer has been part of the fraternity for three years. She is cross country runner and very active in campus activities. English is hoping she will join the board of directors of the United Way.
"We've offered her a position on the board. She is a really, really dynamic girl. We're hopeful she will part of our group soon," smiled English.