The UC Irvine Police Department (UCIPD) is hosting a Teddy Bear donation drive on campus and throughout the surrounding community. The drive runs November through Dec. 15, just in time for the holiday season.
Many children this year will be spending the holidays in hospitals and shelters and may be away from home and their families. A stuffed animal or a toy will make a difference to these young children and students and community members may help by donating a new toy.
This incentive aims to bring more contributions this year than in previous years and every toy counts in the quest to bring joy to as many children as possible this holiday season.
Donations are accepted during the police department’s normal hours to the drive bin in the lobby. Advertisements for the drive may be seen on the UCIPD website as well as through EEE announcements from Chief Paul Henisey.
UCIPD’s Marla Purcell, the Administrative Manger, and Kathy Vancko, an administrative assistant head the program this year.
For the past nine years, UCIPD has hosted this program to benefit children in the neonatal intensive care unit and cancer unit at UCI Medical Center, and to other children’s organizations throughout Orange County.
“There is a team of officers [created] and those officers personally go and deliver the stuffed animals and toys to the medical centers and shelters in Orange County,” said a police officer who wished to remain anonymous. He will be delivering toys as well this year.
In the past years, hundreds of stuffed animals and toys were collected and distributed in time for the holidays to these hopeful children.
This year, the UCIPD has partnered with the UCI Athletic Department for a more successful impact and advertisement. One free general admission ticket to an Anteater men’s basketball game will be provided on Dec. 10 to those who donate a new toy at the Bren Events Center.
Donations will be accepted in the Police Department lobby and will be presented to children 14 years old and younger. UCIPD will escort these stuffed animals and toys to the hospital and give them to the children there who are spending the holidays in the hospital.
Announcements will be made at various athletic games. Donators may also call police requesting information about the campaign.
The majority of donations are from UCI students and staff along with community members and families of UCIPD.