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Teddy bears from Heaven

Stuffed animals of all colors, shapes and sizes lined the parish of South Point United Methodist Church after "Teddy Bear Sunday."

In the sixth year of the community service, church members brought in more than 330 stuffed animals to be donated to Lawrence County Children's Services.

"We found a need in the community and we were able to meet that need," Pastor Pete Shaffer said.

"By and large, it is a small investment that doesn't take a lot of resources but the number of children and families touched are priceless."

The church promoted it all summer and people brought them over the last two weeks.

"It added a unique componnet to the worship service," he said of animal-filled sanctuary. "People love to come in and see them all up there."

The stuffed animals will be used by Children's Services to try an d make kids more comfortable and get them loosen up, Sharon Dolin, social services coordinator.

"Sometimes they can talk to the animals better than they can us," she said. "We had so many last year we gave them out at Christmas."

Children's Services has a lot of uses for the toys but the funding just hasn't bben there. It would be difficult to afford these things without this much appreciated assistance, she said.

Edna Elias, church member and chairman of the missions committee,

this has been a great progrma even thoug hthey started small.

"It makes you feel good when you know these kids need something like this," Elias said. "People have kept bringing them in even after Sunday." Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune