When first responders give a critter to a child at a traumatic scene, they are handing them an object of comfort that will help them feel safe. Genisys Credit Union and Cars 108 organized a collection for new/like new stuffed animals for children in distressing situations.
“We truly enjoy sponsoring projects like this,” said President/CEO Jackie Buchanan. “Being able to support the communities we serve is very important to our organization.”
The Genesee County Department of Health and Human Services will gather the donated critters, clean and distribute them to first responders to give to children who may be found in devastating situations.
Community members were encouraged to drop off new or gently used stuffed animals to select Genisys Credit Union branches. The collection period started in March and ended on April 3. The goal was to collect 2,000 critters -- 400 more critters than last year. Cars Critters, together with Genisys Credit Union collected over 3,000 toys! The generosity of the local community has been astounding.
"It was by far the most Cars Critters has ever collected,” said Bruce Johnston, the Senior Account Executive at Townsquare Media. “And we really appreciate the cooperation of all the branches and how seriously each branch took it knowing it was going to help kids.”
Objects like stuffed animals and dolls take on a role called ‘transitional object’ which relates to the formation of a relationship outside of the one created with the mother and the father, reported Colleen Goddard from Psychology Today. These objects “lessen the stress of separation, while they soothe and comfort the child.”
Providing children with stuffed animals gives them a friend and a comforter during the difficult times first responders might find them in.