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Child and Family Services look to help children in need with Teddy Bear Toss

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The Holiday season is here and the Charlottetown Islanders are teaming up with the Child and Family Services of P.E.I. and the Charlottetown Police Department for the annual Teddy Bear Toss game taking place on Friday, Dec. 15 against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal to the game and send them flying to the ice after the first Islanders’ goal.

After they are collected, the bears will be split between the Child and Family Services of P.E.I. and the Charlottetown Police Department and distributed across the Island.

Both organizations often gift a teddy bear or stuffed animal to children in need, but with the Holiday season just around the corner they were running low, fast. To re-stock their shelves Family Services Director Rona Smith and Teddy Love Coordinator Sara Townsend reached out to the Charlottetown Islanders for help.islanders-teddy-bear

Something as simple as a teddy bear can make a world of difference for a child said Smith.

“It just lights up the world for the children,” she said. “Often times, as a child, a teddy bear is a friend you can tell anything to, a friend that is always there when needed.”

The stuffed animals are definitely important, but this event stretches well beyond donations, said Smith.

“The players may not know it, but they are idols to a lot of our children who have to leave their homes to be safe. Having these hockey players supporting us and working with us shows the children that there are people out there working for them and that they are valued.”

As for Townsend she has been involved with the Teddy Love campaign since it started in the basement Central Christian Church.

“We were just collecting teddies in a church basement and soon it turned into a partnership like this,” she said. “It’s nice to see a team like the Islanders lend a hand even though they are getting very little in return.”

The Teddy Love program has collected many teddy bears over the years, but it was time to evolve.

“We have gathered many teddy bears over the last five years along with cash donations to help provide new toys for playrooms in the regional offices, but it was time to evolve. This evolution brings two major players involved with the safety of children together in a truly united way at Christmas.”

Tickets for the game are available to purchase in person at the Eastlink Centre Box Office, by phone at (902) 629-6625, or online at www.eastlinkcentrepei.ca.

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