A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KSP’s Trooper Teddy bears are on sale for Easter, raises funds to support traumatized children

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Kentucky State Police have a last-minute gift idea for kids’ Easter baskets, a Trooper Teddy Bear.

Now through Sunday, the bears, which are regularly $19.99, are on sale for $14.99. All proceeds benefit the Trooper Teddy Project, which provides teddy bears to children in traumatic situations such as a car crash, exposure to drugs or domestic abuse cases which frequently result in the arrest of a parent.

KSP Sgt. Billy Gregory says the ‘Trooper Teddy’ Project is designed to develop trust between officers and children.

“Oftentimes, we are meeting these children on their worst day,” he said. “Whether they are scared or nervous from the circumstance they are dealing with, the bear seems to immediately resonate with them.  That connection builds trust and opens the door to communication between the child and the trooper.”

Gregory says the program does not utilize state dollars and relies solely on donations and the sale of bears to sustain it.

“Annually, we host a bear sale on Black Friday and then again on Valentine’s Day to raise money for the project,” he stated. “This year, our bear shipment was delayed for our February sale, so we are hosting our first ever Easter sale. We know traditionally this is the season for bunnies. Kentuckians have always supported this project and it has been absolutely heart-warming to see the way they have responded over the years.”

Trooper Teddy Bears will be sold for $14.99 plus shipping during the promotion. To avoid a shipping fee, Kentuckians have the option to pick up their bear at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort or at any of the 16 KSP Post locations.

The Trooper Teddy Bear Project began in December 1989, after then-Kentucky first lady Martha Wilkinson hosted a Gala fundraiser at Red Mile Racecourse earlier that summer. The black tie event raised the needed funds to purchase 2,000 Trooper Teddy Bears. The first allotment included a personal note on each stuffed animal from Mrs. Wilkinson.

Anyone interested in purchasing a bear or making a tax deductible contribution to the project, citizens should click here.

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