One of the officers on the scene went to his patrol car and pulled out one of his own childrens’ stuffed teddy bear and gave it to the crying girl. While this couldn’t help the girl’s parents, it did comfort the child, and she stopped crying while medics looked at her parents.
The incident is what inspired Fred Brockette and Judy Cox to start their yearly program at Immanuel Baptist Church, donating stuffed animals to police officers to comfort children.
According to Cox, the program is a product of Brockette’s Sunday school class at Immanuel Baptist Church.
“Instead of trading presents or playing dirty Santa, we donate toys,” said Cox. “People love picking them out. We get more enjoyment out of that than playing dirty Santa or trading gifts that the other person probably doesn’t even want.”
This year, the Sunday school group received several hundred toy donations, which were split between the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Lebanon Police Department.
According to Wilson County Lt. Scott Moore, deputies and officers keep the toys in cars to give out to children whenever the need arises.
“It is amazing how a kid can feel better from something simple like a teddy bear,” said Cox. “Just about once a year, we’ll have officers come in and share a story with us about how they used the toys. They’ve given us story after story, and that’s better than trading Christmas gifts for us.”