It was the happy memories from her childhood that inspired Natasha Digius to initiate the Alpha Gamma Sigma Teddy Bear Drive, which is planned to bring a little comfort to needy children this spring.
Digius remembers the stuffed animals from her childhood as “sources of comfort.” Her favorite, a green Care Bear she named Lucky Bear, was left under her Christmas tree by a church group just a few years after her family arrived in America. “It was a friend when I didn’t have one around,” she recollected.
Now, Digius is using her position as an AGS vice president to help kids who may need that kind of friend. “If I can make one kid happier then I know my position in AGS has been worthwhile,” she said.
After pitching the idea for the teddy bear drive to AGS, she soon enlisted the help of the cabinet and club members. “Knowing that you have the power to do something like this really lifts my spirits,” she said. “I’m really excited to see how this is going to turn out.”
The stuffed animals will be donated to a local service organization that cares for children in need. The AGS cabinet members will vote to give the bears to whichever organization they feel will most benefit from them.
As a service organization, AGS promotes activities and events that give back to the community. Last semester, AGS organized a walk to Glendale City Hall to raise money for charities. “It is good for our members to help out in the community,” said AGS president Tatevik Shakhbandaryan. “I’m hoping that this will be a success.”
AGS members will receive community service hours for donating, which can be used to determine AGS scholarship eligibility. However, Shakhbandaryan encourages all students to take part. “Everybody on campus can get involved.”
All kinds of stuffed animals will be accepted. “They can donate anything from teddy bears, to dolls, to [stuffed] puppies,” Shakhbandaryan said.
Collection boxes will be located throughout campus until April 30 and all students and staff members are invited to donate.
“I just hope that people realize that their donations will really make a difference,” said Digius, “if not in the community as a whole, in at least one child’s life.”