MINFORD — There are some very big hearts in the fourth-grade class at Minford.
The students gave their time and money to raise funds for The Bear Hug Effect for Scioto County because they felt that the children needed their help. The Bear Hug Effect for Scioto County is a program that provides “bear hug” backpacks filled with various items for children being transitioned to foster homes. Their mission is to provide comfort amid a crisis.
“We chose this organization because it is near and dear to our hearts. We have two teachers in our grade level that are foster moms,” the teachers of fourth grade said at Minford. “They are currently providing loving homes for seven children that were in the foster care system.”
The two-fourths grade teachers and foster mothers themselves, Andrea Tackett and Melissa Bennett, along with the rest of the fourth-grade staff, had Lori Davis come in and give the students some knowledge of the Bear Hug Effect. She also informed them about what foster care really was and how some children have to leave their homes at a sometimes-sudden unexpected rate.
Davis shared with the class many times, children don’t have time to grab anything and so they literally go to a foster home with nothing except the clothes on their back. She gave them the information about how the Bear Hug are backpacks full of comforting things for children of all ages entering into a new foster home.
The fourth graders and their teachers said students brought in coins for a coin drive and they also had a sponsor paper and between those two fundraisers, as a fourth grade, they raised more than $2,000 for the Bear Hug Effect. The coin drive was a competition between the fourth-grade classes, with the winning class getting an Ice Cream Party and that alone brought in more than $600. The sponsored paper was for the walk-a-thon and they could either take donations or so much per round of the track. This and the coin drive totaled $2,055.20 for the Bear Hug Effect.
Tackett and Bennett said that some students just gave from their heart too, which they said was amazing to see. Two of those fourth graders, Case Clark and Colton Frazie, spoke on what it was like raising money for other children.
“I brought in $100, and my mom did not know I was going to do that, but when she found out, she was happy,” Clark said. “Kids need help.”
Tackett said that when she found out Clark had done this, she asked him did he realize how much money this was, and he told her that it was his birthday money and those children need it more than he did. She said it really touched her heart.
“I felt good about doing this,” Frazie said. “It was important because kids need help, like kids that don’t have what I might have.”
Davis, who, along with her husband Scioto County Commissioner Bryan, started the Bear Hug Effect for Scioto County in 2018, three years after they got their boys through foster care, was at the walk-a-thon and was completely surprised when the fourth grade teachers gave her the final total that had been raised.
Davis said that she knew Tackett and Bennett through the program and is also a longtime friend with Glenda Gullion, another fourth grade teacher and that all these teachers have been one of her child’s teachers. Davis shared she wanted to create the Bear Hug Effect in honor of their boys.
“They contacted me and let me know that every year they raise money for specific organizations, and they chose ours this year. It was very unexpected, but it kind of proves that if we work together, all open our eyes and see different needs within our community, there is nothing too small,” Davis said. “We are always needing products and we have a storage unit that we have to pay for, and this money will go a long way for that. It is not just for me. It’s for the kids who will be on the receiving end and teaches the kids who give how important it is to think of others and their needs.”
The fourth graders got a group photo and then just took off running and they knew they were doing this for a great cause, and they were having fun doing just that.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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