Two groups looking for stuffed animals

COVINGTON -- For the second year the Child Support Services and the Fatherhood Program in Conyers and Covington are participating in the "Bearable Hugs for Georgia's Children" campaign.

The organization is asking for donations of stuffed animals to comfort children in traumatic situations.

"Last year we collected over 4,000 stuffed animals, which benefited children served by 82 different organizations around the state," said David Harris, manager of the Fatherhood Program. "We hope the teddy bears will bring comfort and put a smile on the face of a child who may be facing illness, domestic upheaval or some other uncertainty."

The plush animals collected in 2009 were used for distribution to women's shelters, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and pediatric facilities locally.

Spokesman Mark Lee said this year they hope their campaign grows as they would like to have enough toys to share with a very special group of children.

"We'll be working with the Red Cross as well and some of our toys may be going for the kids in Haiti," he said.

Lee said donations of new, small to medium-sized plush animals can be dropped off at the Child Support Services office at 4129 Mill St., Covington, or 997 Commerce Drive, Suite 2A, Conyers, during normal business hours. Collections are being accepted through mid-February with distribution being conducted Feb. 11 and 12. For more information, call 770-784-2732.

The Division of Child Support Services helps Georgia's children by enforcing the parental responsibility to financially support children. The Fatherhood Program serves non-custodial parents who are unable to pay their child support by helping them find employment and other services that promote self-sufficiency so they can support their children. For more information, visit www.ocse.dhr.georgia.gov on the Web.