11,500 Stuffed Animals Collected for At-Risk Kids

A big THANK YOU to all those who helped Bank of American Fork collect over 11,500 teddy bears and other stuffed animals as part of the bank’s 12th annual Project Teddy Bear.

The stuffed animals were donated by customers and community members and will benefit children who have been abused, are at risk of being abused, or have experienced other traumatic situations.  Children will receive the  stuffed animals as Christmas gifts or will use them in play therapy.

At a ceremony that took place at the bank’s headquarters in American Fork  on Dec. 15, bank president Richard Beard, presented the bears to the Salt Lake County Family Support Center, the Utah Valley Family Support & Treatment Center and House of Hope. Beard recognized some of the stand-out givers this year, including:

— 9-year-old Maile Berg of Highland who organized girls in her church to go trick-or-treating for teddy bears instead of candy. The group collected 127 stuffed animals.

— 8-year-old Allexis Nelson of  Tooele, who mobilized after hearing about Project Teddy Bear on the radio. She lobbied her friends and families for donations, collected over 400 stuffed animals.

— Spanish Fork High School Letterman’s Club that extended the drive to their entire high school, collecting 672 stuffed animals.

“The way the community has been involved and gone the extra mile to donate teddy bears to children in need is gratifying,” said Beard. “They share with Bank of American Fork a commitment to local communities and to the greatest asset in those communities: the children. It is a wonderful outpouring of concern and love. Thank you to everyone who helped us collect over 11,500 stuffed animals this year. We will make sure they get into the hands of the kids who need them most.”

The bears will be transported and delivered to each of the centers thanks to a generous donation of equipment and labor by Bailey’s Moving and Storage, which also donated 300 stuffed animals.

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