San Diego Bear Hugs
Pine Valley, California
August 2010 update
San Diego continues to be “lucky” so far this 2010 fire season. Plants continue to grow, homes continue to be rebuilt, & wounds continue to heal from the horrific wildfires of 2003 and 2007. Recently, our Pine Valley Chapter equipped the US Forest Service from Descanso, CA with some bears for their fire engines. These firefighters, both men and women, are an amazing group of people, some I have known for many years. Each of them has helped save homes and save lives during wildfires in and near our San Diego rural towns. We appreciate their hard-work and dedication. A big”bear hug” to Jennifer for kindly accepting these bears on behalf of the US Forest Service. They will ensure these bears reach the arms of children who need them the most in San Diego.
March 2010 update
I have bears already separated and ready to be dropped off, I have been in touch with four local fire stations who are really excited to receive our bears. I will, of course, be getting ready for fire season too. We have been getting lots of rain which means lots of growth; late summer could be interesting this year. I always have the bears ready for evacuations, etc. We also always carry them in the car for accident scenes and what not. I will be looking for some local help in the community to help me get organized, fundraise, disperse bears, etc.
February 2009 update
We have been fortunate enough to have not had any major disasters lately. I helped some families in need over the holidays, providing families with bears for their children… They would not have otherwise been able to put a smile on their face….and that feels good…. Knowing I am reaching children through teddies.
I continue to have “teddies ready” for anything that calls. I hope to continue to spread your mission through my chapter.
October 2008 update
Whew! Life has been hectic since graduation in May. I have begun a second job, working to develop youth programs for an equestrian facility. We have since then, begun a non-profit organization, and as you know, it has been quite the project! I am going to use Hugs Across America as a “citizenship project” in the program, so that should work out wonderfully!!! You will enjoy all the pictures and the growing strength of my chapter!
I LOVE this mission and organization! ~Cristen
March 2008 update
Cristen and her wonderful spirit of generosity sent 50 teddies from San Diego to Little Rock Arkansas in an effort to help the Chapter of Amber Clark as they struggles to get enough bears for The Red Cross after tornados ripped through the area. THAT IS WHAT HUGS IS ALL ABOUT !! When chapters can share bears to help each other out where ever there is a disaster, we can finally become a truly effective disaster relief organization.
THANK YOU TO CRISTEN!
February 2008 update
As mentioned in the previous update, there were a few families we were able to reach that were effected by the fires. The families mainly lived in Ramona and Potrero. The bears came much appreciated!!!! Thank You once again for the showers of support during the San Diego Wildfires of 2007. Since these wildfires came only years after the Cedar Fire in 2003, these types of disasters have become all too familiar to San Diegans. In order to better prepare our rural communities for such disasters, myself, along with the help of my step-father, a local Sheriff’s Deputy, have placed some bears in the disaster preparedness kit for the local communities in eastern San Diego county. I feel comforted to know that if my community is once again struck by tragedy, that bags and bags of bears await to help the scared children cope. As you always say, we have “Teddies at Ready” for our youngest victims during their time of trauma.
Bears have also been donated to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Rural in assistance with my father, Keith Nye. He will distribute them throughout the deputies so that they may have teddies in all their patrol vehicles for all calls with children involved. He told he how much it will mean to the kids to have something to hold during such a hectic time. I have teddies on hand if any of the local departments run out of teddies. Unfortunately the sheriff’s department deals with many types of situations involving children, including accidents and domestic disturbances. Fortunately each local deputy will now have bears to hand to these children, all thanks to Hugs Across America.
November 2007 update
Thank you so much once again for the bears. They honestly are the sweetest things I have ever seen. I am so excited to get them tagged and out to the children that need them most…I have many arrangements already made for distribution. I just wanted to take this time to thank you once again for EVERYTHING! It means so much to me and to San Diego that your organization stepped up to take care of our youngest hearts 🙂 This really is going to bring happiness into some lives that have been completely devastated in the past week. Much Love!
So far I have personally delivered bears to 10 young children whose homes were lost in the fire in the towns of Ramona, CA and Potrero,CA. I know that the bears brought them comfort and smiles and wanted to once again thank you. I know 10 doesn’t sound like a lot, but one may not realize how TRULY difficult it has been to locate the families now that the evacuation centers have been closed down.
I am currently a student at San Diego State University, about to graduate in May 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Family Development. I currently hold an Associates of Science degree in Child Development from Cuyamaca College and a permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as a Teacher. I have been in the child development field for six years now. I also am working on a second Associate’s Degree in Social Work and plan on attending Grad School to work on a Master’s Degree in Human Behaviors.
I plan on working with students at San Diego State as well as local preschools to collect and tag bears. I have numerous ties with local law enforcement and firefighters as well as prior involvement with Girl Scout Troops and other nonprofit organizations in the area. I hope to assist children whose lives have been struck with trauma, including natural disasters, fires, and family violence, as well as donating bears to Children’s Hospital in San Diego, or other major hospitals in the area.
You might say that I started my Chapter as a trial by fire…but here we are, and we are delighted to be able to help. These pictures were taken near by…that was a bus!