Moose Lodge, Bearables hold annual bear stuffing
By PAMELA GRANT
Emma Nixon hopped with joy at her brand new stuffed pig, Oink, giving it a hug and gleefully showing him off to everyone.
Emma was one of 100 children who received a free stuffed animal at Sunday’s 2nd annual Holiday Bear Stuffing Party for Exceptional Needs Students at Bearables on Main Street. The stuffed creatures were offered to students receiving services from the CCISD Special Education Department free of charge to help make their holiday a little brighter.
The event was possible thanks to the various groups associated with Copperas Cove Moose Lodge #2029 including Moose Riders, Women of the Moose, LOOM, and Moose Legion. The groups joined together to raise enough money to provide the stuffed animals free of charge to the kids, and Bearables provided the animals at cost.
“Each of us from our Lodge got together and donated money to support the exceptional needs children. We wanted to make sure that each of them could come through and get an animal,” said Debbie Pomato, Vice President of the Moose Riders. “We do this because we really want to give back to our community...It just touches our hearts, and it’s what we do. It’s for the kids, and they deserve a little bit of extra love.”
In addition to the Lodge volunteers and Bearables, several other organizations helped make Sunday a special day for the children. Chick-fil-A donated cookies, Manna From Heaven donated baked goods, and H-E-B donated candy canes that were given out by Santa Claus.
“They’re donating their time, energy, and their good will to those kids and it means a lot to them,” said Sandra Duvall.
Duvall attended the event with Damien Gifford and their grandchildren Emma, Logan, and Jason Nixon.
“I’m just glad to see them smiling,” said Duvall. “This is the first time they’ve seen Santa Claus in a long time.”
The students stuffed their animals in groups of 20 every hour starting at 1 p.m. This helped keep the groups smaller and less stressful for the children.
BJ Callaway, owner of Bearables, said that it feels natural for her to help out the community, and especially the children. She said it’s a blessing to be able to see how happy the children are upon receiving their stuffed animals and that she’s happy to be able to do her part.
“We like serving the community and helping, especially children that are in need,” said Jennifer Dorroh, co-owner of Bearables. “Sometimes the group of Special Ed children in schools kinda get overlooked, especially with helping out military children. So this [event] warms our hearts doing something for them.”