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.
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.
My name is Allie and I’m 11 years old. My mom told me about you while watching TV. I’ve been looking for a charity to help since I was 8 or 9. Since I’ve been lucky enough to have a toy chest and shelves with teddy bears on them I thought I could take from my good fortune and give to someone in need.
Next year for school I need to volunteer in order to graduate, but I'd like to start now. I may be young but when I set my mind to something it gets done so I will be starting a Hugs chapter in my area of Colorado.
I will be doing this mainly on my own. My parents will help me some though.
Coordinator, Allie Glassman
Music Institute of Long Island
Holiday Concert to Benefit
Hugs Across America
Open to the Public
4:00 - 5:00
Community Reformed Church
90 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY
Fire Marshal, James Penrose of the Port Washington Fire Dept. was very appreciative of the 130 teddies that were just sent to the Dept. from Hugs. They have 18 fire trucks and ambulances that respond to fires, medical emergencies, auto accidents and Carbon Monoxide alarm situations in a large suburban town outside of NYC. Fire Marshal Penrose spoke of two situations that he and his men responded to over the weekend. Both involved CO alarms. In one instance, 2 little girls one 2 yrs and the other 4yrs,. were asleep when the alarm went off. When the department got to the residence they had to wake the children and bring them to the ambulance for the EMS to check out. Both were very frightened and crying. Jim ran to the truck and got two bears for them to hug and “immediately the tears were turned to very big smiles”. In the next CO call, “with 25 ppm of co in a 4 family house the child this time was 7yrs old and was suffering from multiple problems including brain damage from birth. He was outside running around uncontrollably because he was very scared from all that was going on. After I got my job done, again I ran back out to my truck and got a bear, this completely calmed him down. He even gave me a high five right before I left the scene”. Hugs made a big difference and does so every day.
Teachers and classmates of slain eight-year old Kerra Wilson can now find comfort in the arms of a teddy bear. Nearly 500 stuffed animals were delivered to Mitchell Elementary School today for students and teachers. The toys packed the school's gym. Students were able to come and pick out their own stuffed animal after school today.
The Nebraska chapter of the group Hugs Across America collected the bears to help students cope with the loss of classmate Kerra Wilson. The third grader's body was found September 22nd in rural Sioux County after she was reported missing the previous day.
Kerra Wilson's family also received donated teddy bears.
Any extra toys will remain at Mitchell Elementary.