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Teddy Bears for Sandy Hook children

May 30, 2013
AIReS in Pittsburgh has been collecting teddy bears to give to the surviving children from the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary in December last year.

Many people across the country were looking for ways to help the community start to heal and Leah Wagner, a Relocation Specialist at AIReS, overheard coworkers discussing how they wished there was some way to help.

Ms. Wagner learned through a friend that CBS Radio and local station Y108 were holding a drive to collect teddy bears to send to the children and first responders in the Sandy Hook community. Gaining the support of management at AIReS, she coordinated a week-long drive at both of the company’s Pittsburgh branches. 

“Fireman, police officers, ambulance crews, therapists and child psychologists, and other professions who work with children in the time of crisis often have stuffed animals in their vehicles, even their personal cars, in case a situation presents itself where a child needs comforting,” Ms. Wagner said in an e-mail to staff at both the Corporate and Central Regional Offices.

After five days, the staff at AIReS collected over 200 teddy bears for donation, including a box of AIReS Cares bears donated by the company. Cash donations were used to create a unique additional charitable tie in, and were used to purchase teddy bears being sold by a local retail jeweller to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The credit all belongs to the team at AIReS,” said Leah. ”I may have sent the initial e-mail, but our staff’s generosity is what made this a success.”

CBS radio collected over 6,500 bears, more than needed or imagined. Donations were split between Sandy Hook and causes in the local Pittsburgh community.

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