Twelve Lincoln Middle School kids went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Westside Pavilion with the sole purpose of making bears for Adams House residents, a shelter for battered women and their children run by OPCC. The children are all in K9 Connection’s shelter dog training class.
“We are a ‘child rescue’ agency first and foremost,” says Katherine Beattie, co-director of k9 connection, also a project of OPCC. “We train the teens to train the rescue shelter dogs, and they in turn gain the empathy to give back to the community by giving the teddy bears they create to the sheltered children at Adams House.”
“My wish is for the child who gets my bear not to be scared,” says Gaby Mercado, age 13. “My wish is for the child who gets my bear to have a better life,” says Henry Boyd, age 12. The Build-A-Bear teddy bears will be presented to the Adams House children by their mothers on behalf of the k9 connection children during the weekly Mommy and Me parenting support group.
“A stuffed animal may not seem like much to children who live in the comfort of their own homes, but for those who have had to leave everything behind, it can mean the world,” says Ada Palotai, Sojourn Residential Program Manager.