3…2…1…Blastoff! On Monday, January 15, 2018, Bryan and Lori Davis blasted off with their ‘The Bear Hug Effect’ campaign. Contrary to it sounding like a flying expedition, or a political campaign, this effect is something great that will benefit so many children.
The Bear Hug effect began on Facebook with both Bryan and Lori posting a video about how they wanted to do something great for the children in our area that have been misplaced, due to family problems, basically, children who have for whatever reason, have been placed in a home that is not theirs.
The Davis’ chose the date, because three years ago, they found themselves in a situation that many people have been in, one time or another in their lives. They received a call, they drove to Columbus and picked up Lori’s two nephews for what was suppose to be a short time. That was three years ago, and now those boys are safe and happy in their own home with Lori and Bryan.
However, the day they picked up those boys, they say they will never forgotten, as these young boys came walking to the Davis’ car, carrying a huge black trash bag, containing the only things they had.
The bag was not full, it was just a lump at the bottom that made it heavy. A picture that none of us would wish on any child, but that happens way more often than we can imagine.
“A week before, I was reminded of that giant empty trash bag and how much that still bothered me,” Lori said. “I just decided to be active about this problem and make it difference for our community’s children.”
That mental picture has played itself over and over in Bryan and Lori’s mind and with that, Lori began hatching a plan.
Three years to that day later, the Davis’ launched this program. The Bear Hug Effect is quite simple, but can be so very powerful in the lives of our youth.
The effect is, simply buying a backpack and filling it with a few items that can help these children in such a difficult transition, that no child should ever have to face. The plan is to put in this backpack, a medium sized stuffed animal, a small throw blanket, a pair of socks or two, a book, and anything else that may be suitable. However, they want the backpacks to have room for what clothes the kids may have with them, if removed.
The Davis’ have remembered that not all these kids are small, many of them are teenagers. With this in mind, Lori suggested that one could possibly put in maybe a journal, pens or pencils, a book for older children, and an older looking backpack.
Lori has gone so far as to give a list of suggested books, to help with this decision. It may not seem that a stuffed animal and blanket would work for the older children, but as mentioned many times on their website, older kids need something to hug, especially if their lives are being torn apart and things have happened to them that they have no control over.
The Davis’ said that they know there are many people that are in need, but this campaign is very specific, as it is specific in their hearts, this is about children who are being misplaced from their home. On board with them right now, is the Portsmouth Police Department as Lori said that Chief Ware wants to have backpacks in every one of his cruisers. Also, the Juvenile Court, with Dawn Keller and Judge Lemons because they have to sometimes, do removal even during the school day.
In their video, Lori says that it would be great if some groups or churches got together and help collect for the drive. They both mentioned how generous this community is and they know there are many out there who would love to help, as they see it so often with people of our community. The campaign for the collection drive will end at the end of March. On Lori’s Facebook event page, it’s called The Bear Hug Effect and Lori has listed books that would be suitable for these backpacks.
“Currently, our drop off locations are at the Scioto County Courthouse outside the second floor Juvenile Court office in Portsmouth, also DIY deSign in Wheelersburg or the public may call me to arrange a pickup at 740-776-2938,” Lori said. “During my professional career, I’ve been able to help manage very large successful events in my community and my church.
Lori is now a stay at home mom with the boys. But, she is constantly busy, as she helps manage all White Gravel Mines Productions (The Christmas Cave creative & marketing team, the director of 100 people in the Cavern of Choices drama, event coordinator for our 5K Extreme Trail Run) and have held women’s Christian conferences called The Ladies Delight at Rubyville Community Church, and currently the event planner for the Lincoln Day Dinner for the Republican Party and so much more. Brian, is himself, busy as one of the County Commissioners, but both are devoted to this cause.
“I’ve been contacted by numerous individuals and churches that have already begun collecting,” Bryan said. “People are rallying and gearing up to start drives in their schools and workplaces too. I’m thrilled at the response for our kid’s sake. They deserve the comfort and hope that these Bear Hug bags will bring.”
Everyone, at one point or another, could use a hug, so this Bear Hug Effect is such a unique and wonderful campaign. Those children in our community who sometimes are quickly torn apart from the home they know, to a safely needed one, will surely love having something of their own to take with them. What a super idea the Davis’ have come up with to give just a little comfort in a trying time.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext.1928
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