Don’t be surprised if you see a member of the Hermiston Police Department carrying around a teddy bear.
The department recently came into possession of 1,000 stuffed bears courtesy of Hermiston Masonic Lodge #138 and the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation.
For several years, the Hermiston Masonic Lodge has been providing teddy bears to the Department of Human Services to give out to children they contact.
Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston said members of the lodge reached out to the police department this year to find out if more could be done for kids who are not in school due to the pandemic. As a result, the lodge purchased 200 bears and a grant was written to the health foundation requesting $4,392 to purchase 800 additional bears to be given out to children.
“As they do so often, Good Shepherd came through with the funding request,” said Edmiston, who said the bears will be put right on duty.
“We will be providing these bears to all members of our department, including our three school resource officers and three chaplains,” he said. “We will also send a couple of boxes to the Guardian Care Center in Pendleton, give some to the Umatilla County Fire District #1, and provide bears to other social service entities.”
The Guardian Care Center provides a safe, neutral, friendly site for child abuse assessments and reduces fear and trauma associated with these experiences.
Edmiston thanked the health foundation and the Hermiston Masonic Lodge “for continually stepping up to assist the youth in our incredible community.”