Students donate hundreds of stuffed animals to law enforcement

Students donate hundreds of stuffed animals to law enforcement

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - If a Lamar County Sheriff's Deputy or Hattiesburg Policeman responds to a call where a child is involved, they will have a source of comfort for the child thanks to the Oak Grove Junior Civitan Club.

The members, who attend Oak Grove Middle School, collected 438 stuffed animals for officers to carry in their patrol cars.

"These animals are going to provide a lot of comfort to a lot of children," Hattiesburg Police Department Lieutenant Allen Murray said.

He and Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel loaded the stuffed animals into their vehicles Friday morning as students carried the hundreds of animals out in large bags and boxes, everyone smiling during the delivery.

"That's the main thing we want to do, is we want to provide a service to the community, and these children are helping us do that," Rigel said.

Junior Civitan President Anna Pittman said the original goal was to collect 100 bears, but through a competition between classrooms and the help of Citizens Bank, the group exceed that goal.

"It was really cool to see people come together for that type of thing," she said.

The stuffed animals, which will be given to children on the scene of anything from a wreck to a domestic violence call, will be distributed between the two departments and placed in each vehicle.

"Kids need something to have security in... even if just for that night," Murray said.

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