Seeing a police car at their home or witnessing a traumatic event can be frightening for small children. A new program in Grundy County will allow officers to offer comfort to children who are victims of house fires, in a car accident, in the process of being removed from their home, or involved in other events with law enforcement. Buddy Bears, a project organized by Tracy City resident Kendale James, will put stuffed bears in the vehicles of all Grundy County Sheriff deputies.
James was aware of similar programs in surrounding counties, and contacted Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum to discuss the benefits to Grundy County. Shrum told James he thought the program was a good idea.
Once James had permission from the sheriff to organize the program, she gathered boxes, made fliers, and approached local businesses to see if they would place donation boxes at their location. The program will collect stuffed toys to be distributed to deputies. The Buddy Bears will ride along with the deputies and be given to children who witness or are the victim of crimes.
Donations of new or gently used small stuffed animals can be made at Mountain Goat Market, Tower Community Bank, Northcutt’s Family Market, Teresa’s Avon Store, Tenacity Adventure Fitness, Taste of Ink, Sav-A-Lot, Mountain Graphics, The Gizzard Grill, Grundy County Courthouse (Register of Deeds), and Rusty’s Barbershop.
James will collect the donations each month and deliver them to the sheriff’s office. She hopes to also make donations to the Tracy city Police Department and the Monteagle Police Department.