MLK School, Volunteer Center provide teddy bears to students

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Some local students are getting new stuffed animal friends after what a local group is calling a “labor of love.”

On Tuesday, February 23 at 10:30 a.m., volunteer Delores Daugherty will join the staff of the MLK Montessori School, 6001 South Anthony Blvd. as a book created about her bear-making efforts is read to preschool students. Each student at the school personally received a teddy bear at Christmas and will also get coloring pages designed around Dee’s unique handmade bears.

MLK Executive Director Greta McKinney states “Receiving the hand-sewn teddy bear and learning the story behind it adds a sense of safety and security for our preschool students in this confusing time. The additional benefit of an online site of children’s books, recorded by volunteers for teachers and parents to play for the children offers a unique opportunity to increase their reading exposure.”

Dee Daugherty, 89, has been a member of the Volunteer Center since 2010. Her bears are often donated to emergency responders to share with frightened children. Dee has handcrafted more than 800 bears in her labor of love.

Executive Director for Volunteer Center, Ani Etter shares “Dee is an example of giving back and volunteering to help improve our community. Her beautiful handmade bears provide a cozy reading companion for the children at MLK Montessori. Her story of service to the community, shared in the original book created for the project, is one to pass on and inspired the next generation of future leaders. We are honor to partner with MLK Montessori in this initiative.”