Santa gets a helping hand in Medina

December 24, 2013 by  

Medina preschoolers in the Help Me Grow program, those in foster care, and those who go to the county’s Board of Development Disabilities Achievement Center will be receiving teddy bears this Christmas, thanks to the Build-A-Bear workshop hosted by Kevin Dunn.

The presence of Mr. Dunn at the workshop may have come as a surprise to some of his fellow workers, since the last time they saw him he ordered them to perform community service—he is the Probate and Juvenile Court judge. The Build-A-Bear program Judge Dunn in which took part began in 2007, so disadvantaged children could have toys at Christmas.

Last year, the program provided 120 stuffed rabbits, dogs and teddy bears to the children; this year, the number is up to 160. The bears came from the Build-A-Bear store in Strongsville with stuffing already inserted, but they needed further work to complete them. Volunteers at this event put in the toys’ hearts, then sewed them together and dressed them in outfits with career, sports, and holiday themes.

Judge Dunn was gratified by the reaction of some of the young people he had given community service, saying he saw a lot of positive reactions to the event. He felt the kids liked the bear event better than cleaning or yard work.

The Walmart Foundation, Medina Sunrise Rotary, and the Build-A-Bear store in Strongsville made donations to the event, and further help came from the donation fund of the Juvenile Court.

Event organizers could work with a flyer printing service to create mailers, asking people to put the event on next year’s schedule.