A local motorcycle club plans to ride throughout the state of West Virginia, as they partner with various emergency service personnel to help put smiles on the face of children who go through hard times.
Brave men and women all across the world are faced with unspoken dangers and trauma everyday with the unfornate reality that young children do as well, as most cannot fathom the events that they face in emergency situations.
The Brothers in Blue Motorcycle Club Black Diamond Chapter told 12 News its main goal is to let children know that they can still smile in hard times by providing stuffed animals to those during tragic emergency situations.
The idea of the annual event was created on behalf of Jennifer Meadows, a 32-year-old who lost her life in a hit-and-run in Huntington WV. Meadows was known as a loving daughter, aunt and mother and sister to one of the club’s members, but those even closer knew her by her nickname “Freddie” an always-positive woman with a fascination and love for teddy bears.
“She loved teddy bears and to carry on her name and her memoryfor this program, we started a program that was called Freddie’s Teddies.” said Ryan “Squeegue” Cottrell, member of Brothers in Blue.
For the second straight year, operation Freddie’s Teddies focused on giving a sign of hope for children who go through rough situations.
Last Friday, the club donated more than 150 bears to Marion County for delivery from police, fire and rescue team during emergency calls involving children. Rescue Squad Member JoAnna Mcbee told 12 New she felt the additional, cuddly travel tool would come in handy during emergency with kids more than anything else.
“Whether it is from a car accident or it’s from you know just going to their home because they have fallen down, you know sometimes to give them a stuff animal just to comfort them because it brings them comfort and it helps them through their traumatic situation they’ve been in.” said Mcbee.
Both organizations hope that each teddy bear helps bring a more positive light to all who encounter them, just as it did “Freddie”.
“It hits home when you actually deliver bears to places that you know that they deal with the children everyday in hard times because we’ve all done it.“ said Cottrell.
“It’s just really important because we have a camaraderie and we come together and we all have the vision – to comfort people, to help people and just to be that helping hand or that person that they need in their time of need.” confirmed Mcbee.
With help from PetSmart in Milleville New Jersey, Brothers In Blue chapters from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will continue to donate thousands of bears throughout with the next local stop being Friday March 8th at Harrison County EMS.