North Central News

PCP student collects toys to comfort kids

A Phoenix Christian Preparatory School fifth-grader is already a veteran community activist, helping to offer something furry and comforting to other children.

Shelby Shearer, 11, a fifth-grader at Phoenix Christian Preparatory, has been collecting stuffed animals to donate to traumatized children the Phoenix Police Department encounters since she was 3 years old. She is pictured here with Phoenix Police Officer Aaron Stevens (photo by Lisa Blake).

Shelby Shearer, 11, a fifth-grader at Phoenix Christian Preparatory, has been collecting stuffed animals to donate to traumatized children the Phoenix Police Department encounters since she was 3 years old. She is pictured here with Phoenix Police Officer Aaron Stevens (photo by Lisa Blake).

Shelby Shearer, 11, has been collecting new and gently used stuffed toys for the Phoenix Police Department every February to provide to traumatized youths they encounter while serving the community. She began collecting the stuffed animals when she was 3 years old when she wanted to have a birthday party with her friends from preschool. Her mother and grandmother suggested that because it was only six weeks after Christmas, when she had received many presents, she ask her friends to bring teddy bears to the party to donate to the area police station instead of gifts. From there, “Shelby and the Bears” was born, with Shelby collecting 25 teddy bears. The next year even more friends helped her and they brought in 250 stuffed toys to donate to the police department.

Over the last seven years, Shelby’s outreach has greatly expanded, with 500 new or gently used stuffed toys given to Phoenix Police Officer Aaron Stevens, who is the family’s city of Phoenix Neighborhood Community Action Officer.

Shelby’s soft spot for other kids has led to Phoenix police officers visiting the school, where she and other students collect the stuffed toys for officers to pick up. The police department brought a K9 officer to talk to students and answer their questions.

Shelby, who also is a Girl Scout, plans to keep collecting the toys until she graduates from Phoenix Christian Preparatory School. To learn more about “Shelby and the Bears,” contact Principal Ruth Zappe at rzappe@phoenixchristian.org or by calling 602-264-4338.

 

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