UCA Sociology and Criminology Society will host its second annual Share-A-Bear Drive from Oct. 26 to Oct. 30.
This drive is aimed to increase domestic violence awareness and support positive coping strategies.
“While October is predominately known for breast cancer awareness, we feel that there is an additional epidemic of domestic violence that occurs too often behind closed doors,” SCS President Frank Benton said.
The teddy bears will be dispersed to local law enforcement and shelters. Police will use the teddy bears as a positive coping strategy for victims during violence response calls.
“Whether it is a child being handed a teddy bear by a responding officer or an abused man or woman being comforted by a teddy bear, something as simple as that teddy bear can truly impact lives and remind people that they can rise above being ‘victims’,” Benton said.
In 2014, the drive raised 441 teddy bears.
“In my mind, that’s not only a successful event, but it’s also indicative of the power of community,” Benton said. “441 people may have been helped and nothing feels better at the end of the day than knowing you made a positive impact in someone’s life.”
SCS is looking to triple that number this year. The UCA Sociology department, UCA Police Department, Conway Police Department, Conway Fire Department and Faulkner County Juvenile Court also support the drive with donation drop-offs at each location.
“We are very proud to support such a great program,” Special Operation Coordinator Sgt. Brad Moore said. “They have worked hard putting this together.”
While spring projects are still being planned, SCS will host another community outreach event this fall called “Not All Heroes Wear Capes.” During the holidays, members of the society will partner with Toys-for-Tots and other organizations to collect presents. They will distribute the presents to children in the Conway Regional Hospital while dressed as superheroes alongside EMS workers, police officers and firemen.
“We want the message to be that superheroes don’t really wear masks or capes,” Benton said. “They’re everyday people who risk their lives keeping places like Conway safe.”
SCS is open to any student on campus, regardless of major. It offers general and active membership, providing flexibility based on the student’s desired level of involvement.
To find more information, contact Frank Benton and other officers via OrgSync.
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