The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office is participating in a program aimed to help young children through difficult situations.
The idea is called Barran's Bears, and its purpose is to "provide comfort to young children in the midst of trauma and difficult circumstances" through teddy bears. Since the first order of teddy bears arrived in St. Mary Parish, a post from the department read on Facebook, several teddy bears have been deployed by deputies.
Barran's Bears was started three years ago by a Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff's Deputy Turner Barran. The funds given to purchase the bears go 100% to the cost of the bears, according to the post.
SMPSO said their newest and largest shipment of bears so far is all thanks to some members of the community. Lighthouse Community Church in Berwick and Crossing Place Church in Bayou Vista, along with "an anonymous 'friend of the SMPSO'" contacted the sheriff's office and donated funds to purchase the large order, which arrived this week.
Both LCC and CPC set aside time on Wednesday night to pray over the bears before they are given to their new owners.
LCC Pastor Mo Seneca said "We...saw this as an opportunity to partner with them in a way that will provide comfort to a child dealing with difficult circumstances."
Sheriff Blaise Smith said he is thankful for the community response "as they provided such an important resource for our deputies to use with some of our favorite people in our parish, our children."
"I am humbled by the response of these churches and this individual to step up and be a part of this program to make it a success."