"Operation Give a Hug"

Caring community members in our area say they have huggable new weapons to help out and they're already seeing results.

Mark Paul Rosenthal and his family escaped a car accident this weekend with no major injuries, but emergency personnel took care of more than Mark Paul's scraped chin. They soothed his tears with a teddy bear, donated the day before by one of Mark Paul's classmates at Brookwood School.

"I gave an animal and Mark Paul was in an accident and he got my rainbow bear I gave him," says Neel Gurley.

Jenni Martin's kindergartners call their drive "Operation Give a Hug". They're collecting stuffed animals for emergency personnel and child care workers to keep on hand.

"When a child had an experience that upset them or made them afraid or they were worried or scared, they would give them a stuffed animal to give them a hug and cheer them up," says Jenni Martin.

Since the beginning of January, students and staff here have collected eight boxfuls of toys. They're aiming for 100 and teachers say the program is so important, they hope to see it extend beyond Brookwood School."

And in a scary situation, a child can always use a big hug. Teachers say the Thomas County Sheriff's Office, Thomasville Police, EMTs and firefighters, DFCS and the Vashti Center have received stuffed animals from the drive.

If you are interested in donating to the cause, call the Brookwood School at 229-226-8070.