‘A kind and thoughtful thing’

David Peck

RMHS National Honor Society chapter donates bears to DFS

A Rocky Mountain High School National Honor Society fundraiser and service project was a big success this month, advisor Geranne Rasmussen reported, with a project to bring joy to

children in crisis gratefully accepted by the DFS office in Lovell.

The RMHS chapter first raised money for the DFS project, then went to Billings last Wednesday, March 23, to attend a Build-A-Bear workshop at Rimrock Mall, producing 20 bears for the Wyoming Dept. of Family Services office in Lovell.

“This is actually the first time we have done the Build-A-Bear service project. We got the idea from another NHS chapter in Morgan, Utah, where I have a niece that participated in a similar activity,” Rasmussen said. “The students worked on raising money for the project by doing a 50/50 raffle where the winner of the raffle also donated back their half. We also had a campaign where community members ‘sponsored’ a bear and had a great response. Our community is always supportive of our youth programs and it is so appreciated.

“Our goal was to have enough money to build 20 bears, so as soon as we had enough money to do so, I took them to Billings on Wednesday. Build-A-Bear also gave us a 10 percent discount because they were for a charitable cause. We divided up the money we had between each of our National Honor Society members, and they built as many bears as they could within their budget. The bears are being donated to our local DFS office so they can give the bears to children who are having a rough time for whatever reason.”

The staff at the Lovell DFS office picked up the bears on Monday and were thrilled with the donation.

“The school resource officer (Shane Brost) called and asked if we had some interest in receiving some bears, and I said, ‘My heavens, yes!’,” social services caseworker for north Big Horn County Janet Prosser said. “I thought there would be five or six, but they gave us 20. That is just amazing. It was beyond my expectations – so kind.

“It’s just an outstanding, kind and thoughtful thing. The kids will love it.”

Prosser said the bears will be very beneficial to the DFS work with children, noting the office has received some donations of this type in the past, but not to that extent.

“Something like this, when a kid is in crisis, can make a huge difference,” she said. “It gives them a little something to hold on to whether they’re at the hospital, going to foster care or being removed from a home, something to cuddle up to or talk about.”

“We are in the hopes that the bears will make the days brighter for some children in our area,” Rasmussen said. “We are hoping to make this an annual event.”