Alabama State Trooper Cpl. Chris King presents a Trooper Bear to 4-month-old Kendall Abrams Thursday at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. Troopers — as part of the teddy bear program sponsored by the Alabama State Trooper Association — presented bears to a number of children who have been admitted to the hospital’s pediatrics ward. As you can see, the bears have a unique ability of turning a frown upside down. -- Tim Reeves

State Troopers deliver smiles, bears to children at Vaughan

Published 8:29pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

Instead of running down the stairs at the crack of dawn to see what Santa Claus left under the Christmas tree, some area children will be spending Christmas day in a hospital gown at Vaughan Regional Medical Center.

In an effort to bring a much needed smile to some of these children’s’ faces, Alabama State Troopers delivered several teddy bears to children Thursday in conjunction with their annual teddy bear program, sponsored by the Alabama State Trooper Association.

“It’s really a great feeling,” said State Trooper Charles Dysart of delivering the teddy bears. “This is my first year as the representative for the area and it’s been very rewarding.”

Troopers delivered 20 toy bears to children at Vaughan Regional Thursday after delivering bears to Bryant Whitfield Hospital in Demopolis.

After receiving her teddy bear, 6-year-old Jasmine Lardell couldn’t stop smiling ear to ear.

“We give the teddy bears because we’re found in the past that it has a calming affect on the children,” said Col. Christ King, long time participant in the yearly program.

Dysart said the program began when troopers noticed the positive reactions that came from children who were involved in highway crashes. “Most of the time when troopers are working crashes on the highway and a small child is injured, we’ve found out by giving them that teddy bear, it has a calming affect for the small child,” King said. “That’s what we’re trying to do here at the hospital.”

Troopers went from room to room and delivered the  bears. Some recipients, like Kendall Abrams, were as young as four months.

“This is the holiday season and some will be in the hospital for Christmas, some for maybe even new years,” King said. “We just want the public to know that we care in more ways than just one.”

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