Teddy bears lift kids’ spirits

Ruth Bibby BEARS FOR CHILDREN — The Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society collected teddy bears for the Virginia Baptist Hospital Children’s Ward.

The Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (ALD) held its annual teddy bear drive that continues to impact sick children in the Lynchburg community.

The annual fundraiser will be donating teddy bears to the Virginia Baptist Hospital Children’s Ward.

The teddy bear drive lasted for four days, starting Monday, March 21 and ending Thursday, March 24.

Large bins and boxes are scattered in 20 collection locations including offices in Campus Main, Campus North and an off campus site on 12th Street.

Bessie Grayson, the administrator advisor of ALD, adopted the idea of a teddy bear drive from other universities.

“The teddy bear drive has given an opportunity for all ALD members to contribute to this event and to contribute to the community,” said Grayson, who has been a member of ALD for 15 years.

Theodore Whitney, Grayson’s staff member who works for the business intelligence of Liberty, was delighted in the fundraiser. His daughter is a former Virginia Baptist Hospital child who received a blue teddy bear that she currently sleeps with today. Whitney and his daughter thanked ALD personally for making a difference in their lives.

Grayson also mentioned the large amounts of emails from online students who want to help with the fundraiser.

“We are so excited about this,” said Grayson. “So many people want to get involved.”

Students can help by donating brand new teddy bears or stuffed animals that are no more than 12 inches long. Volunteers can also collect donations at their dorms. ALD raised more than 300 teddy bears for the Virginia Baptist Hospital Children’s Ward last spring and is expecting a larger turnout this year.

The treasurer of ALD, Sammi Jo Blue, remembers receiving a stuffed animal while hospitalized as a child.

“This needs to be on a giving end,” said Blue. “There can be a person who is 20 years old who still has a teddy bear with blue jean overalls.”

The ALD Honor Society is a local chapter of a national interdisciplinary honor society that provides a Christian intellectual and social enrichment.

Andre Craig, one of the vice presidents of ALD, expresses his view of the teddy bear drive.

“The teddy bear drive is a good idea,” said Craig. “The idea of college students dedicating their time to collect stuffed animals so that they can bring a smile on a child’s face is heart warming and it’s a blessing.

The honor society also fundraises for the Jubilee Center of Lynchburg and raises money for mission trips for Liberty graduates.

“A teddy bear is an inexpensive way to impact a life. If you want to give joy and hope, a teddy bear can do that.” ALD member Shalonda Hutchins said.

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