Local Teen Collects Teddy Bears for Children Affected by Colorado Floods

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RENO, NV -- A small teddy bear or a warm blanket are things we probably took for granted when we were younger. Now, a Reno teen is hoping to use them to comfort families who have lost their homes.

It's not Hannah Hoobyar's first time organizing a drive. She had one in June for the Oklahoma tornado victims and now, she wants to help those affected by the Colorado flood from last month.

She held the drive Wednesday at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, asking for new or gently-used stuffed animals, quilts or blanket donations from the community to show that a small gesture can go a long way.

"I want to make sure that they have something that when they're alone or they're feeling scared, they can cuddle onto a stuffed animal," Hoobyar said.

It's a comforting gesture for those who have lost everything. Fifteen-year-old Hoobyar is collecting bears for the families affected in Colorado flood.

"It's not as much as rewarding as the kids getting the help they need."

"There are so many other people who are helping them with their food and their water and their shelter but it's that missing link of 'hey we care about you' and 'don't go to sleep afraid, don't be alone, don't be scared, it will be okay.,'" Tracy Hoobyar, Hanna's mother, said.

Nearly 2,000 homes have been damaged, leaving families with children vulnerable and displaced.

'Me being a kid myself, I want to help the kids because I know the parents are getting the help and they need more help but the kids they don't really get a lot of attention with it," Hannah said.

She knows first-hand at just how important having something to hold every night can be.

"When I was younger, I went through some really rough times and having a blanket and a stuffed animal to cuddle onto really helped."

She's hoping to collect more than 2,800 teddy bears for the drive before she heads down to Boulder in November.

"I can't stress enough the fact how much she's done for everyone else, so i really am truly am inspired by what she's done," Mackenzie St. Cyr, Hanna's friend of five years, said.

If you missed the drive, you can still drop off your new and gently used stuffed animals, blankets and quilts to various locations in the city. You can find a list in the link below.