Students made stuffed animals to support Passaic charity
By Gina N. Fico
The Student Community Center at County College of Morris transformed into the Student Activities Planning Board’s Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory Tuesday, Feb. 13 when participants paid to make stuffed animals to raise funds for a charitable cause.
CCM has been hosting Teddy Bear Factories for the past 10 years, according to Don Phelps, associate director of campus life. The cost is $5 which covers the stuffing and an unstuffed animal of a bear, monkey, or a cow.
Phelps said the charities change each year and added in the past the money went toward an equine center, autism research, cancer research, and a particular family in the CCM community. This year, donations went toward SMILE, a food and diaper pantry out of Passaic. SMILE also has other programs such as case management, help for refugees, and mental health. He said SAPB members pick the charity and that the event raises $500.
“It brings together students, faculty, and staff, and watching the interactions and people build their bears is really special,” Phelps said.
Jasmin Moreno, vice president of SAPB and a business administration major said this is a very popular event at CCM.
“I like the fact that people can come up and be really enthusiastic about getting a bear, and you are the one who gets the bear, gets the stuffing, gets the decorations and make someone have fun for a half hour,” Moreno said.
April Pachas, a nursing major, said she likes that the proceeds of this event are going to a good cause.
“I didn’t expect all these people to come and all the money is going to charity, so that’s great,” Pachas said.
Sophia Meola, an exercise science major, said the event is something that she finds relieves stress.
“It takes your mind off school, it’s something fun to do”, said Meola.
She said she is going to give the stuffed cow she made to her mother for Valentine’s Day.
Marianne Enriquez, an exercise science major, said she drove from work to make a bear and spend time with her friend.
“It’s really cute and it’s not expensive and it’s going to a good cause”, Enriquez said.
Students can gift their stuffed animal to someone for Valentine’s Day or keep it for themselves. The Equal Opportunity Fund also had a table there, giving students the option to donate their stuffed animal to children at Morristown Medical Center, according to Jonathan Vega, human services major and EOF member.