Red Cross, Build a Bear help kids displaced by disaster

RENO, NV (KOLO) Disaster waits for no one and if it affects your family, sometimes there are just mere moments to escape.

Some of the last items that are thought of may be comfort pieces for children. But the American Red Cross and Build a Bear are joining to make sure the smallest faces are not forgotten.

From house fires to weather-related devastation, the American Red Cross knows this time of year is critical. “We come into spring, late spring, we have tornado season, and then there is flooding usually, then we are going to go right into hurricanes, where more and more people are going to be displaced. Thousands of our neighbors are going to be affected by disasters this season,” says Zanny Marsh, Executive Director of the Northern Nevada American Red Cross.

Marsh says she understands during emergencies, critical needs are handled first, adding, “We want people to save their lives first, and that means get out and get out quickly. But that might mean things like your comfort toys and diapers and other needs are left behind.”

Then comes the comfort. More than 1100 teddy bears are stocked and ready to go at the Red Cross Disaster Field Supply Center on USA Parkway.

Customers stuffed the furry friends at Build a Bear locations across the U.S in early May for free to donate to this cause. These buddies are not just exclusively for children in Northern Nevada.

“When we know that there's a need, just like what's happening in other parts of the country right now that are so affected by flooding and tornadoes, we are going to be able to take these bears from Build a Bear and through the generosity of our American people who have built these bears to provide comfort to children who have been displaced. We are going to get those out to the hands of children who need them the most," says Marsh.

This could affect families that suffered or may be in the path of destruction and have to evacuate. All a Red Cross chapter has to do is reach out to our chapter and the bears will be shipped off.

It may seem small, but when it comes to dealing with children who are the smallest of victims, there is no limit to the amount of compassion that can be shared.

Through May 29, you can visit the Build a Bear in Meadowood Mall to donate to the American Red Cross or head here

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