Teddy Bear Donations Needed

West Oahu residents can show they care by sharing a new or gently used bears during Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month this April.

Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii will collect teddy bears from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 14 at Pearlridge Center’s Uptown and Downtown center courts.

The stuffed animals will be given to abused children following the 15th annual Teddy Bear Roundup and Family Resource Fair.

Sponsored include Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii, Foster Realty Inc., state Department of Health and the Child Abuse Prevention Planning Council.

Children who have suffered abuse may find comfort from having and holding a cute stuffed toy to get them through tough times. The drive’s goal is their comfort and happiness.

“Building One Strong ‘Ohana” is the theme for this year’s Family Resource Fair, which will host free activities for families and offer parenting tips along with live music.

Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger and Elmo will be there to take photos with the keiki, so be sure to bring your cameras.

According to a 2010 report from Prevent Child Abuse America, the nation’s leading child abuse prevention organization, nearly 700,000 children were found to be victims of abuse and neglect, and 34 percent of these victims were under 4 years old.

Within the state, nearly 1,600 children were found to be victims of abuse and neglect in a 2010 report conducted by the Hawaii Department of Human Services.

“Our profound wish is that one day there is no need for a Teddy Bear Roundup, because there will be no abused children,” said Elsie Foster, Teddy Bear Roundup volunteer chairwoman and owner of Foster Realty.

For more information about the Teddy Bear Roundup, activities relating to Child Abuse Prevention Month or advise and details about abuse prevention programs and activities throughout the year, call 951-0200 or visit preventchildabusehawaii.org.