FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky State Police are hoping that shoppers will include a Trooper Teddy Bear to their shopping lists this year.
The bears will go on sale on Thanksgiving night and will sell for $15 over the weekend.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children in traumatic situations such as car crashes, exposure to drugs or domestic abuse cases. These are cases that frequently result in the arrest of a child's parent.
"When KSP is called to a scene, its usually a tragic and difficult situation," said KSP spokesman Sergeant Josh Lawson. "Unfortunately, there are many incidents where children are involved and witness traumatic things. To minimize the situation and help them cope, we provide children with a teddy bear to calm them down during times of crisis."
According to Lawson, the program is designed to develop tryst between officers and children.
"As a law enforcement officer, it tugs at your heart strings to arrive at a scene and see a child visibly upset and shaken," said Lawson. "These children are often innocent victims of parents who may have violated the law, or in the middle of a domestic disturbance or worse. This small gesture provides comfort and builds trust between the trooper and the child."
The Trooper Teddy Project will celebrate4 its 30 year anniversary in December.
"Like many agencies, KSP didn't have the funds in our budget to purchase the bears, but the need remained," Lawson said. "The program is completely funded through donations and the sale of bears, with out Black Friday sale being one of our most successful fundraising events of the year."
For those who want to purchase a bear, click here.
The Trooper Teddy Project started in 1989 after Kentucky First Lady Martha Wilkinson hosted a gala fundraiser earlier that summer. That event raised the needed funds to purchase 2,000 of the Trooper Teddy Bears.