Very few police officers or firefighters have anything to give to a child. Please help PROJECT SMILE reach its goal of collecting enough stuffed animals for every emergency responder in New England to always have one to give to a hurting child.
Why do the police, fire fighters and paramedics need stuffed animals? They give them to children who are
•Witnesses to a Crime
•Experiencing Traumatic Event
•Coping with Loss
•Sick and/or Injured
An email excerpt from Kim, a mother whose 7 year old daughter received a stuffed animal and coloring book/crayons from police and fire fighters after being involved in a car accident:
"I want to thank your organization for everything that you do… I had never heard or seen your organization before but fully believe after our experience that it is a blessing to all children that go through a traumatizing experience… Your organization is so necessary during times like we experienced."
Project Smile also partners with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (formerly Department of Social Services) by donating stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons and reading books for children entering foster care in the Commonwealth. There are currently 8,000 children in Massachusetts in foster care each year, most of whom enter foster care with few, if any, personal possessions. A gift of a stuffed animal offers these children, who have been involved in very painful circumstances, a source of comfort.
In 2010, Project Smile expanded to partner with homeless shelters by donating stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons and reading books for children living in shelters. According to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, in October 2006, more than 1,400 families were staying in the state’s emergency shelter system each night. This included nearly 3,000 children --- half of whom