The Apache Junction Police Department recently received a donation of stuffed animals.
These, along with the officers' other equipment, will be available to comfort children who may have been victimized by a traumatic event, according to a release.
The donation was made by the Eagle Riders, which is group made up of motorcycle enthusiasts within the ranks of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. The Eagle Riders of Lost Dutchman Aerie No. 3850 donated 50 Charity Bears with the express purpose of handing them out to kids who may be experiencing trauma, the release states.
According to Bob Maise, Eagle Riders president, the Charity Bears are new and they were specifically made to be used by first responders to pass out to children.
"From the look of them, it’s easy to see that that a lot of thought and creativity went into the Charity Bear project," according to the release.
"The bears sport a black vest similar to the vest worn by The Eagle Riders and come with either pink or brown stitching. Since the bears are all brand new, parents can be confident that their children are bringing home and cuddling up with something clean and safe," the release states.
“We’re so grateful for the generosity of the F.O.E.," AJPD Chief Thomas E. Kelly said in the release.
"Our officers frequently come into contact with children experiencing real-life trauma. Often a kind gesture like handing a child a stuffed animal can go a long way in helping to begin healing process," he said. "The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #3850 does so much good work around the community and this is just one more example of their partnership with and dedication to the city/citizens of Apache Junction.”