There is nothing more comforting to a child in distress than hugging a cuddly, soft teddy bear. They bring comfort to children caught up in domestic strife or being moved abruptly out of their homes for safety reasons, and the Montrose Woman’s Club knows it.
That’s why the club has donated its Hug-a-Bears to the Montrose Police Department for the last several years.
On Nov. 14, 72 soft and colorful Hug-a-Bears were presented to the police department. The bears are cut, stuffed and sewn by the crafting committee of the Montrose Woman’s Club and donated to the Montrose Police Department just before the holiday season.
Officers carry the bears in their cruisers ready to be handed to a child in need.
“The bears have a very positive response and the kids are excited to have them,” said Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn, who was one of several officers and staff on hand to receive the bears.
Jane Murphy, chairwoman of the Hug-a-Bear committee for the past several years, said it was an effort that meant a lot to club members.
“Six or seven women meet once a month to cut, stuff and sew the bears during the year,” she said.
The bears are finished with a painted face and a colorful ribbon is tied around the neck. The last thing to be added is a red heart on the bear’s chest.
“Only soft materials such as flannel and fleece are used” to make the bears more huggable, according to committee member Elizabeth Christianse.
Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard assisted with the unloading of the bears, helping Lexy Stevensen and Janet Reyher, who are also on the committee, display the colorful bears to the other officers and staff who were present.
Soon everyone was holding a bear and admiring the fine design and craftsmanship.
Stevenson remarked this was only one project of the Montrose Woman’s Club, which recently sponsored a hobby and craft show at Friendship Hall.
“The proceeds of that bazaar go back to help the community as well,” she said.
The presentation of the Hug-a-Bears to the Montrose Police Department came at the end of the department’s yearly Thanksgiving potluck dinner when it invites the staff at city hall to join them.
Arlyn Macdonald is a freelance writer for the Montrose Daily Press and author of three books.