LOS ANGELES, CA — Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Police Department have launched a Teddy Bear Drive to collect new stuffed animals that will be given to children at emergency scenes. The drive is being led by the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team, the LAPD, and CRT’s volunteer members. Officers will provide stuffed animals when comforting children who have experienced loss or witnessed a traumatic event.
“When children experience a tragedy, they can feel as if everything has been taken away from them,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The simple act of giving a child a teddy bear allows them something to hold onto during a turbulent time. During this holiday season, I ask Angelenos to consider donating a new stuffed animal to help comfort a child.”
While it is called a Teddy Bear Drive, all new stuffed animals are welcome and appreciated. The Teddy Bear Drive begins today and will continue through the end of the year. Brightly colored collection boxes will be displayed at all LAPD stations as well as the Mayor’s Help Desk at City Hall and his two field offices in Van Nuys and South L.A. Please visit lamayor.org/teddybear for locations. Donations may also be mailed to: Teddy Bear Drive, c/o Mayor’s Crisis Response Team, 200 N. Spring Street, Room 303, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
The Mayor’s Crisis Response Team is composed of more than 200 community civilian volunteers who respond to traumatic incidents at the request of the Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments. CRT volunteers provide immediate on-scene crisis intervention, attend to survival and comfort needs, act as a liaison between victims and emergency personnel, and provide referrals to victims and their families affected by a death, a serious injury, a violent crime, or other traumatic incidents. These include homicides, suicides, serious traffic accidents, natural deaths, and multi-casualty incidents.
Last week, 40 new volunteers graduated from the seven week, forty-two hour training program at a ceremony attended by Mayor Garcetti, Chief Beck, and representatives of the Fire Department.