We are happy to keep bringing you Hugs Across America news, highlight activities of our volunteers and create a fun place for our visitors, supporters and friends of our mission.
INDIANAPOLIS - A school bus driver and a student were killed in a bus crash early Monday morning, and several others were injured.
Indianapolis Metro Police have identified the driver as Thomas Spencer II, 60, and the child as Donasty Smith, 5.
A total of ten students were taken to area hospitals. Four remain hospitalized, with two in critical condition. One student required surgery for a broken femur.
The school where the bus was headed, Lighthouse Charter School on Sloan Ave., released students early Monday, but classes will resume Tuesday. Grief counselors will be there for the students and 50 Hugs Across America teddy bears will help in the process.
CHARDON, Ohio (AP) - Hundreds of people stood shoulder to shoulder along the street on a cold, windy Saturday morning to honor one of three teenagers killed in the Chardon High School shooting. The service in Chardon for 16-year-old Daniel Parmertor is the first of the three funerals. Those honoring the teen wore the school's colors of red and black and huddled in hoods, knit hats and blankets. They held U.S. flags and signs featuring red hearts and saying, "We are One Heartbeat." Many still express disbelief about the Monday attack. Two other students were seriously wounded when a 17 yr. old gunman opened fire in the cafeteria at Chardon High, a small town about 30 miles east of Cleveland. Hugs sent 100 bears Tuesday morning that arrived Thursday in time for Chardon HS to open after the shooting.
I received a call from the Guidance Dept. on Friday morning asking for another 100 for the Middle School and as many bears as we can give to the HS. "The bears are working wonders with the kids", "They really need them." This note of thank you tells us a little about it...
From: Sandy McBride, Chardon Ohio
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for the kids at Chardon High School. My daughter was in that room where the shooting happened and being handed your Hugs teddy bear this morning… put a much needed smile on her face. She has not let go of her teddy since. Thank you so much for doing what you do. You make a huge difference in peoples lives.
At least ten people have reportedly been killed and more than 100 others injured following a tornado that tore through the southeastern Illinois town of Harrisburg.
As residents of the small town, which is located about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, Mo., try to salvage what is left of their belongings, at least 100 others are being treated for injuries at area hospitals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. A hospital employee told the paper that there are over 200 "totally crushed houses" throughout the area.
Visiting Nurses Association emergency responders were walking door to door to help residents. They will renew that effort on Tuesday with 150 Hugs teddies to bring a small measure of comfort to families that have lost so much.
Trapped upstairs as flames shot through their side of a two-family house in South Plainfield, N.J., five people — a 62-year-old woman and four of her grandchildren — died early Thursday, the authorities said. “The house is gutted,” the borough administrator, Glenn Cullen, said. The five victims — a 12-year-old girl; three boys, ages 4, 5 and 7; and their grandmother, whom the authorities identified as Ann Jefferson — apparently faced an inferno made hotter by bricks between the walls that provided structural support to what looked like a clapboard house. Captain Joseph Abbruzzese, of the South Plainfield Fire Department, will bring 50 Hugs teddy bears to the family, friends and appropriate schools for counselors to use as local children begin the process of grieving for their lost classmates.
Ten people were killed and 18 others hospitalized in the multi-vehicle accident that occurred in low visibility early Sunday just outside of Gainsville, Florida on I- 75. Pastor Jose Carmo Jr. wanted to be back in time for the suburban Atlanta church's Sunday morning service and led two vans up Interstate 75 toward Georgia. Both vans crashed in the highway's fog- and smoke-shrouded darkness near Gainesville.
Carmo, his wife and their oldest daughter were among five church members killed in the two deadly pileups along the always busy six-lane interstate. Their youngest daughter, 15 year old Lidiane, survived the crash but was in critical condition at a local hospital. Both daughters attended Sprayberry High School outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The high school counselor and Asst. Principal, Jeanne Walker, spoke of helping students and members of the small church where the family worshiped by providing 75 Hugs teddy bears to friends and family in the hope that this small gesture of care could ease their burden of grief.