Sunday, March 22, 2009

Adopt-a-bear to the 911 Rescue! Miami-Dade Fire Fighters to be armed with bears for rescued and traumatized children.

Once upon a time... I was on assignment interviewing firefighters for an investigation into smoke alarms. I asked Lt. Elkin Sirrae of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue about what happens when the fire fighters rescue children from a burning house. These children are often unimaginably traumatized from the fire, and in some tragic cases, have even lost a parent, or witnessed a brother or sister injured.

I learned that –not so long ago - the fire department had teddy bears to give the children, but no longer. As Lt. Sirrae told me, “We take one of the latex gloves the paramedics use and blow it up and draw two eyes and a smile on it. We have to fashion it like a blow up toy to try and bring a smile to the children.”

Stunned, I thought, “we can do better!” While the adopt- a- bear campaign was created to help re-stock the shelves of Juvenile Court so that teddy bears could go to abused and neglected children, I could not resist the sense of obligation to try and help our firefighters and the children they encounter in such a moment of need. And so…Adopt-A-Bear for the Firefighters was born! As good luck would have it, the Metro-Dade Fire Expo was about to be held and our entire team at Adopt-a-bear decided to dedicate the donations of the day to children rescued by the fire fighters. We took lots of pictures, which you can see by clicking on the album right here
Adopt-a-Bear for the Firefighters- photo gallery

Stay tuned for an announcement of when the bears will be formally delivered to the heroes who head into the heat for all of us!

Special recognition: There are people who shine so brightly in life I an in awe of their dedication to help others. Adopt-a-bear wants to celebrate three such people without whom creating the Firefighter branch of Adopt-a-Bear would not be possible. Thanks to Karen Chamberlain, Sr. Regional Account Representative, Merrill Communications and Top Brass Ambassador Brad Schultz, along with our original Sweetheart Bear Ambassador Laura Daulau of Who’s Kickin’ on Sunset.

And a special sweet shout out to Sonia the baker who stole our hearts! Her Yummy Bakery donated hundreds of cupcakes for the event and a cake in the form of a fire truck that just wowed the children and our fire fighters!

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