Community responds to stolen teddy bear

After a teddy bear was stolen from a young boy, the community has responded.

ALLEGAN, MICH. - After a few items were stolen from their table at the Allegan County fair, one local Girl Scout troop is making the most of the situation.

Troop Leader Heather Bomgaars discovered the items were stolen last Sunday when she went to clean up the booth her troop puts together every year. 

A few Girl Scout products and two teddy bears were taken. One of those teddy bears belonged to the 8-year-old son of one of the troop's leaders. The young boy used the bear to cope with his anxiety.

"It was what protected him, per se, from monsters at night with his issues," co-leader for the troop, Alissa Harpe, said. 

Since word got out that Ashton's coping bear was stolen, the community has taken action. 

"I don't think we anticipated as much as the response as we've gotten," Heath Bomgaars, said. 

Messages, emails and phone calls have flowed in, from people wanting to donate money or a bear to help Ashton out.

An overwhelming response to replace Ashton's bear has led the troop to turn this incident around.

"For whatever is donated, we'll obviously let him keep one," Harpe said. "We're talking about the possibility of going to DeVos and handing them out to sick children there." 

The leftover funds and bears that are donated to the troop will go to the hands of other kids dealing with their own battles.

"There are good people out there," Bomgaars said. "I appreciate that there are people out there willing to show that to my Girl Scouts, to other Girl Scouts and it gives those girls empowerment to keep doing what they're doing." 

If you are interested in making a donation or would like to donate a bear, you can mail it one of the following addresses: 

PO Box 113
Plainwell, MI 49080

527 N. Main St.
Plainwell, MI 49080

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