A cuddly teddy bear of their own can make all the difference to a child who is scared and alone.
It's something that Carolyn Cragg and Katrina Crews know about all too well. They were both abused as children and have now founded an organisation called Tedz For The Kidz, which provides a new teddy bear to every child who has come under the radar of Child, Youth and Family.
Ms Cragg and Ms Crews will be in Wanganui this weekend to talk about Tedz For The Kidz, with the aim of starting up a Wanganui branch of the organisation, which began in Tauranga 15 months ago and opened in Taranaki in May.
Ms Cragg, who is based in New Plymouth, told the Wanganui Chronicle a branch operated by volunteers collected donations of new teddy bears and other goodies for children. These were then packaged and passed on to local police.
"Our 'Trauma Tedz' are given to children who have been through the forensic examination process after trauma or abuse. These children have been extremely damaged. To have their own cuddly ted might feel like the only friend they have," Ms Cragg said.
The organisation does not collect money and exists entirely on gifts, donations, and the work of volunteers. These volunteers could be individuals or groups such as craft groups, Ms Cragg said.
Others had more personal reasons for helping.
"Some were abused as children, and they just want to tell their stories."
Around 115 teddy bears a year were needed in Taranaki alone, Ms Cragg said.
If you are interested in being part of Tedz For The Kidz, feel free to come along to the public meeting at 4pm, August 2, at The Red Lion.