FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky State Police is asking Black Friday shoppers to remember to include the Trooper Teddy Bear Project on their shopping lists this year.
The bears go on sale Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. and cost $15 through the holiday weekend. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children in traumatic situations such as a car crash, exposure to drugs, or domestic abuse cases which frequently result in the arrest of a parent.
KSP Spokesman Sergeant Billy Gregory said the Trooper Teddy Project is designed to develop trust between officers and children.
“Oftentimes, we are meeting these children on their worst day,” he said. “Whether they are scared or nervous from the circumstance they are dealing with, the bear seems to immediately resonate with them. That connection builds trust and opens the door to communication between the child and the trooper.”
Gregory said the program does not use state tax dollars and relies solely on donations and the sale of bears to sustain it.
“Annually, we host a bear sale on Black Friday and then again on Valentine’s Day to raise money for the project,” he said. “We also accept general tax-exempt monetary donations to the project. We remain humbled by the public support for this project. It’s absolutely heartwarming to see the way Kentuckians respond.”