William Woods University sophomore Lindsey Baden is continuing the Teddy Bear Drive tradition she started her senior year at Lafayette High School in St. Louis.
This is Baden’s third year collecting teddy bears and other stuffed animals for children’s hospitals and shelters. For the past two years, her sorority at WWU, Alpha Chi Omega, has taken on the project.
Baden explained, “My family and I look forward to this every year, and I wanted to involve my house and campus in the wonderful experience.”
When she first started her drive, Baden enlisted the help of her dad, the executive vice president of Royal Bank in St. Louis, to co-sponsor the charity event. With his assistance, and the use of flyers and radio spots, the drive has become well publicized in the St. Louis area.
Over the past two years, the drive has collected more than 900 teddy bears and other stuffed animals. Baden carefully hand picks the shelters and hospitals to receive the bears and stuffed animals. The cuddly friends are then dispersed to children on Christmas Eve.
Last year the bears and stuffed animals were distributed to seven children’s shelters in downtown St. Louis, as well as CARD-V in Fulton. This year the goal is to collect 900 teddy bears or other stuffed animals from the WWU campus, Fulton community and St. Louis area.
Baden emphasized, “You would never expect how such a small gift can mean so much to them.”
The drive will continue until the second week of December. Stuffed animals or teddy bears can be dropped off at the Alpha Chi Omega house, outside Community Life in the McNutt Campus Center at WWU or at the Fulton Wal-Mart. For more information, contact Baden at (573) 592-4628.