Roscommon County Santa Bear Project Donates Teddies To At-Risk Kids

"That shows the big heart that we have in our community to support this program.

A man, a mission and hundreds of teddy bears, big and small.

It’s a community’s goal to bring kids in need a good Christmas.

It’s a month-long project nearing its end to spread cheer to at-risk kids in the form of hundreds of bears.

Organizations, businesses and several churches in Roscommon were tasked with raising money to donate to those families.

Bob Edwards says "that’s the whole idea behind it. They bless your Christmas if you have one."

A Christmas blessing in a seemingly small, fluffy package…

"It consists of a large bear and a small bear, the baby bears."

Bob Edwards helped start the Santa bear project seven years ago.

When the state graded the county — it wasn’t good.

"Our county had the worst reputation for taking care of our children at Christmas time and there was over 40 foster care children got less than a perfect Christmas. When we left, some of our members got together and said not on our watch."

So they got to work.

Around 500 bears carrying messages of love and a fifty dollar Wal-Mart gift card.

More than 300 were bought by folks in less than a month.

"When I was stuffing the envelopes right here for the 86 children, it was very emotional for me because I knew in my hands were 86 children that probably would not have Christmas and tomorrow morning, they are going to wake up very, very happy."

"It’s so nice when a family gets together to use the certificate to ensure that their child will have a great Christmas morning." says Suzanne Kern

It’s a bear hug from a community to a community bob wants to keep going — and spread.

"I’m hoping that this program will grow further and bigger so that we could all wake up on Christmas morning next year, knowing that we have taken care of the at-risk children."