On Wednesday afternoon the Crisis Center of Dodge City received a unique donation, close to 60 handmade teddy bears.
"We have a lot of bears," Melena Levi-Kauffman, the interim director from the Kansas Coalition against sexual an domestic violence said. "There's one huge bag, and one medium sized bag, and both are filled with handmade bears."
The bears were made by Patty Renner and a group of friends at the senior center in Garden Plain.
"The Sedgwick County Extension office contacted us, and asked if we'd help make the bears for local children," Renner, who is the grandmother of Globe reporter Abigail Wilson, said. "They provided the material and the stuffing, and we did the work."
Renner and her friends made so many bears that the local police station said they had too many. So, Renner asked her granddaughter to bring them to Dodge to distribute.
All together about 12 ladies worked on the bears. Three sewed the material together and eight stuffed the bears.
"We had so much fun making the bears, just chatting away and it was nice because there was something for everyone to do," Renner said. "Those that liked to sew could do that, those that couldn't see well enough could stuff them."
But the best part of making all the bears for everyone was knowing that they would be going to a child in need.
The Crisis Center will distribute the bears between three locations, the shelter they operate, the Meadowlark House and the crisis center. Bears will be handed out to any client with a child, or children, to help make their experience a little bit easier.
"We are always so appreciative that someone in the community takes the time to reach out and give something for someone else," Levi-Kauffman said. "And the fact that these are all handmade makes them even more special."
Donations are always needed and appreciated at the crisis center. Just a few of the items they need include; baby/toddler clothes, baby furniture, baby items (shampoo, diapers, cream etc.), household furniture and kitchen supplies, non-perishable food and gift cards for restaurants or grocery stores.
"A lot of our clients, when they come see us, are in an emergency situation," Levi-Kauffman said, "so anything that people can donate to us is appreciated and will get used."
About the Crisis Center
The Crisis Center is located at 100 Gunsmoke St. and served 362 adult clients and 126 children in the last fiscal year alone. These numbers only count new clients, not continuing or returning clients. Here are some of the services they provide, free of cost:
• 24 hour crisis line (620) 225-6510
• Shelter for abused/battered women and their children
• Support groups
Page 2 of 2 - • Advocacy for rape and domestic violence victims and their families
• Referral services
• Family first center
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