ROY -- When Roy police and fire officials were down to a bare minimum supply of stuffed animals to give to children in traumatic situations, Harmons Grocery Store stepped in to give them a hand.
On Thursday afternoon, employees from the grocery store in Roy presented the police and fire department with more than 800 stuffed animals, which had been collected through a Teddy Bear Drive.
"We always participate in a service project each year, and this year we wanted to do something that would last longer than a couple of months," said Harmons customer service manager, Brenda Peterson. "Roy Elementary School is our adopt-a-school, so we asked them to pitch in and help. We also asked for help from our employees and customers," Peterson said. "We set out change jars at each of our checkout counters and took the money we collected to purchase even more stuffed animals."
When police and fire officials arrived at the store, there was a sea of stuffed bears, cats, dogs, horses, frogs and many other animals waiting for them to whisk away.
"This really means a lot to us," said Roy police officer, Broc Gresham.
"We deal with a lot of nasty situations and too many times an innocent child is involved," Gresham said. "There are domestic violence calls, children whose parents are doing drugs, just a lot of unfortunate situations and if we can give the child a stuffed animal to help them for even a few minutes that makes us very happy."
Roy fire Capt. Kevin Monson said the stuffed animals also help a great deal when a child is injured or sick.
"It serves as a great distraction and helps take their mind off of their problem," Monson said. "A lot of times it makes the child feel more secure and makes them smile."
Harmons store director, Kent Haslam, said the police and fire departments are a great resource in the community.
"We are very appreciative of everything you do for our community. We know you have a hard job and we want to help you out any way that we can," he said.
If you would like to donate a stuffed animal to the city, call 801-774-1020.