GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Sheriff’s Office received a unique donation Friday. A collection of 21 stuffed bears was deliver by the Gallipolis Leo Club to Sheriff Matt Champlin, personally.
The bears will be given to patrol officers to keep in their cruisers to help comfort children if they are involved in a call.
“A lot of our officers will respond to a call and encounter a child, who is in a traumatic situation at no fault of their own, and these bears will help the officer comfort the child and bond youth with law enforcement,” said Champlin.
Champlin explained to the students about a young child that he had encountered while responding to a call, who then gave him a special pin that remained in his patrol car for 16 years. This bond was a benefit to not only that young child, but also Champlin. His hope is that these bears will help bond law enforcement and the youth that they interact with in the future.
The Leo club students raised money to purchase the bears just after Valentine’s Day, hence the pink color, and collected so much money that they purchased an additional 17 stuffed bears to be donated to Pleasant Valley Hospital for emergency paramedics to use on duty. One student took the initiative a step further.
“I made suckers at home and sold them at school for money and made $230,” said Derek Henry.
The Leo club is associated with the Lion’s Club organization and focuses on community service.
“It’s just a small way of helping out other children going through tough times,” said Advisor Chris Homer.
“Thank you guys for taking the initiative, I applaud you for this and I hope you continue throughout your life,” said Champlin.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.