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Teddy bears stolen from local church, community helps double donations

Posted at 11:42 PM, Jan 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 02:42:42-05

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — It's the case of the missing teddy bears, a local church during the holidays asked for donations of stuffed animals to give to children in need.

Just a week before Christmas, St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church members noticed that a donation box full of teddy bears went missing just a week before Christmas.

Megan Pruett, a youth minister at the church, says they have both a giving parish and community who are always donating to good causes.

This was no different when Ms. Kern River Valley, asked to set up a donation box to collect teddy bears for children hospitalized locally starting on Dec. 18.

The donation box received 40-to-50 bears before they went missing.

"I just hope it was some misunderstanding," said Pruett. "I hope that they are using the stuffed animals for some other purpose that’s all you could hope for."

Pruett says they do have security cameras,but are unsure when exactly the donations went missing. Making it difficult to cross-reference with the cameras.

Pruett adds they have received outpouring donations from the community. Now, the donated stuffed animals are taking up half of the church's main office.

"You know I am not surprised, Bakersfield is a completely generous town," Pruett said. "I have no doubt, that once word started getting around that we were collecting these teddy bears, and we had a short deadline, people would come through and they did."

The church now has received hundreds of bears to give, thanks to the community and church members like Dominic Mascola.

"It's troubling and we hope that they find some goodness in their heart to use those animals for some good," said Mascola. "We just wanted to rally around this cause and do our part."