PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - Students at a South Florida elementary school took part in a teddy bear drive for first responders to give to children, years after a boy was killed in a plane crash.
Police officers arrived at Bayview Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, but they were not there to make an arrest.
Instead, Fort Lauderdale Police officers picked up dozens of teddy bears collected by students.
The drive was organized by Taylor’s Teddy Bears, a nonprofit that collects stuffed bears for first responders to give to children.
Megan Bishop began the organization.
“I wanted to reach out so that children had a way, when they are in distress or scared that first responders had something to give them to kind of bring them comfort and peace,” she said.
Bishop created the nonprofit after her son, 4-year-old Taylor, died in a plane crash in Pembroke Pines.
Authorities said the single-engine plane fell on top of Bishop’s car.
Bishop said starting Taylor’s Teddy Bears has helped her with the grieving process.
“Sometimes I do believe that God kept me alive because He wanted me to carry out my son’s legacy,” she said, “and so, to see the nonprofit thriving in the way that it is, it does bring me so much comfort, and I know that this now has become my purpose.”
Students at Bayview Elementary said they were excited to take part in the drive.
Well, I think this is important to do, because we get to give our first responders and children who are in the hospital and need some comfort,” said student Giacomo Cacho-Triggiano.
“It’s amazing how we raised so many teddy bears for all the kids that need the teddy bears, like how we bought all the teddy bears for other kids to have,” said student Benjamin Echarte.
Bishop said the drive was a success.
“The whole school was out here, and they were chanting ‘Taylor’ and ‘teddy bears,’ and all these things,” she said, “and it was just – I could feel his presence with this one. It was beautiful.”
Officials with the nonprofit said they are still counting teddy bears collected from Wednesday’s drive. They said they have easily collected hundreds of the stuffed animals.
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