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BYU Bookstore reaches out to children through Christmas Bears program

Customers of the BYU Bookstore helped donate more than 400 stuffed bears to children's organizations this Christmas season.

Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 9, the Bookstore gave each customer a free 20-inch stuffed bear with a purchase of $100 or more. Customers were able to keep the bear or have it donated to the Pediatrics Unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center or the Children's Justice Center.

"The donated bears are used to entertain the children who are under the care of each organization," said Rowdy Symons, Bookstore Creative Services Manager. "Some of the bears are distributed at the annual party for the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation. Additional donations are delivered to BYU University Police to give comfort when needed."

Symons said the BYU Bookstore is thrilled to see the amount of participation from customers.

"Nothing compares to seeing the kids' faces light up when they get their very own bear," said Symons. "We couldn't do this without the help of customers who are willing to share."

The Bookstore has been sponsoring the program since 2002 and has donated more than 3,300 bears since the program was first initiated. Both the Pediatrics Unit and the Justice Center can use all the bears the Bookstore can provide. The bears will ride in the ambulances with the paramedics when they go on runs to pick up children. They will also be given to children who come into abuse shelters with their mothers or fathers.

For more information, contact Rowdy Symons at 801-422-8399,

Writer: Kaylene Vest

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