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'It's amazing I didn't think we were going to get here': Teddy Bears Anonymous celebrates 15 year anniversary

It’s a milestone Luke Lawrence didn’t imagine when he started the charitable organization that brings joy to children in difficult situations.

“We started one, then we hit five then we hit 10 ... never say never in life it’s a really big deal for us,” Lawrence said.

Teddy Bears Anonymous was founded after his daughter, Erin, passed away in 2007. It offers a rare comfort to children in Saskatchewan hospitals, in police or paramedic situations, allowing frontline workers to provide a teddy or stuffed animal to children.

"I have one at my home...but it’s at my grandmas though,” Lilly, a recipient of Teddy Bears told CTV.

When asked how it made her feel when she got it, she squeezed the bear in her hands and said “it makes me happier."

“You know they're so scared when they go into the hospital they don't know what's going on so any sort of comfort is amazing for them,” Ashely, Lilly’s mom, said.

Saturday, a barbecue was held, hoping to sell 1,500 hotdogs for 15 years. People lined up at the Co-op on Rochdale, and by 2 p.m. they had sold just over 750.

“I had one person say I said ‘I'm sorry for the line up', he says ‘we're not here for the hotdogs and I thought well that says it all,” Lawrence explained.

There was a magic show, princesses, puppies and a giant cake, along with a handout of new stuffed animals provided by the Salvation Army to kids who showed up.

Police Chief Evan Bray cut the cake and explained how important the cause is, not only to the children, but to first responders as well.

“A police officer being able to give them a brand new teddy bear that ultimately is going to give them a lot of comfort it is good for the police officer, or the paramedics or the firefighters that are handing them out and its obviously good for the children.”

Lawrence said it was an emotional day and that Erin is watching the good work they do.

He will continue to keep up with the demand as long as he can, having already provided over 190 thousand children with teddies.

For him, it’s a testament to the community that this charity is still going strong.

“I can feel it ... our volunteers ... that’s why they do what they do back here, the businesses that support us and the public that come out, they are out here for a reason.” Top Stories

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