AUSTIN, Texas - Sometimes a hug from a soft friendly face can help during a traumatic situation.
AFD shared on Facebook that the Douglas County Fire/EMS Department in Georgia spent three weeks collecting new teddy bears for a program they called #BearHugsforTexas in an effort to show support to the children in Austin that were affected by Winter Storm Uri.
Roderick Jolivette from Douglas County, right, and Joel G. Baker from Austin celebrate the arrival of two pallets of bears for kids in Austin. (Austin Fire Department/Chris Wilkinson)
On Wednesday, March 31, Austin fire chief Joel G. Baker joined Douglas County fire chief Roderick Jolivette at AFD's Central station downtown to celebrate the arrival of two pallets of teddy bears at AFD's warehouse.
"Our deepest gratitude to Chief Jolivette and his department―as well as the generous community members from the Georgia cities of Litihia Springs, Douglasville, Villa Rica, and Austell―who created, coordinated, and collected these hundreds of bears, all unbeknownst to us, until we received the call they were ready to come to Austin," said AFD.
AFD firefighters gather to celebrate the arrival of two pallets of teddy bears for Austin-area kids impacted by the recent winter storm. (Austin Fire Department/Chris Wilkinson)
The bears will find temporary homes with AFD units across the city while they wait to find permanent spots in the loving arms of needy children who suffer a traumatic emergency, says AFD.