Arlington Resident Collects Teddy BearsArlington Resident Collects Teddy BearsArlington Resident Collects Teddy BearsArlington Resident Collects Teddy Bears
Arlington Resident Collects Teddy Bears to Bring Comfort to Hospitalized Children
By Susan Schrock
Posted on April 09, 2018, April 09, 2018

Friends, family and neighbors helped Arlington resident Dave Butler celebrate his 46th birthday with a giant pile of teddy bears, unicorns, giraffes and other cuddly creatures.

More than 200 stuffed animals were donated Saturday during Dave's 3rd Annual Teddy Bear Party at Viridian's Lake Club. Families stopped by to stuff their donated plush toys with cotton filling and then write a note of encouragement for the toy's future recipient. Butler's event has collected more than 600 toys for children undergoing treatment at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth during the past three years.

"The worst thing in the world is for a kid to be holed up in a hospital when they should be running around outside and having a good time," Butler said on Saturday. "Hopefully these bears will let them know 'Don't give up, hang on, we're praying for you and you are going to make it through this.'"

The Smart family was among many who have participated in Dave's teddy bear party since it began in 2016. Jackson Smart, 10, stuffed a white unicorn while his grandmother, Karen Andrews, put together a giraffe. Jackson wrote "I hope you have a magical year" on the note to accompany his donated toy.

"It makes me feel good that we are doing something special like this for kids who are going through a rough time and for their parents, too," said Mindy Smart, Jackson's mom.

Dave's Annual Teddy Bear Party is among several activities planned during Viridian's Acts of Kindness Month in April. The City of Arlington, which launched a Kindness Initiative last year, encourages the community to report acts of kindness through the Ask Arlington app, or web page, or by sharing on social media tagged with #ArlingtonKindness.

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