Teddy bears donated to kids

VIENNA – Over the past six weeks, Elder-Beerman associates have made personal financial contributions to purchase plush teddy bears from their corporate office to donate to local children in crisis or emergency situations.

Through a partnership with United Way Alliance, 52 bears were donated to two United Way agencies, the Family Crisis Intervention Center, a domestic violence shelter, and to the Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home, a facility for individuals recovering from addictions.

Diana Stewart, human resources manager, and Whitney Kirkbride, cash office associate, at Elder-Beerman in the Grand Central Mall spearheaded the special fundraiser.

“Our store had a few teddy bears left over following Christmas, so we (the associates) purchased them to give to area kids in need,” Stewart said.

United Way receives several calls a day dealing with families in need.

“By giving teddy bears to children that are housed at these two agencies, either temporarily or up to a year, we know the teddy bears will go to children desperately longing for comfort and security,” Jaclyn Peters, administrative assistant at United Way Alliance, said.

The corporate culture at Elder-Beerman reflects a long history of supporting United Way, Joyce Mather, executive director of United Way Alliance, said.

“We’re honored to partner with them and their employees to serve area families experiencing challenging circumstances,” she said.