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Marion, Ohio AMVETS Post 42 brightening children's day one teddy bear at a time

Jessica Steele

Source: 10WBNS

AMVETS Post 42 in Marion, Ohio, is unlike any other AMVETS Post in the state as it is housed within the Marion County Correctional Institution. Through this Post, incarcerated veterans get a chance to connect with each other, serve their local communities, and redefine their futures.

This post has a long history of knitting, sewing, and crocheting for good causes: their latest donation, teddy bears. The hand-sewn bears were created by AMVETS Post 42 members to be given to children by first responders in times of crisis. These bears are kept inside of deputies' cruisers to have on hand in the event they are called to an incident involving children.

Sheriff Matt Bayles explains, "If you talk to any law enforcement officer, the toughest thing to deal with are kids that are put in situations like that. They're traumatized by it or being hurt in an accident. There's domestic violence situations where they might see one parent assaulting the other. It's very difficult to come into a situation like that." Bayles goes on to say, "if it takes a child's mind off of the trauma for a moment, it is worth it."

AMVETS Post 42 spreads positivity both within the community and the correctional institute. "This program is really about not letting your past define you," said Marcus Bloomfield who is a current inmate and member of AMVETS Post 42. "Just because we made a mistake in our past doesn't mean that we can't do something good now. This is a therapy program. This is not just helping the kids out, it's also helping yourself out to relax, and to decompress from the current situation that we're currently in."

AMVETS Post 42 voluntarily takes on these projects and hosts fundraiser events within the institution where fellow inmates donate to help the Post pay for supplies such as cloth, thread, and other items. The donated money comes from the inmate's day jobs around the Marion Correctional Institute. The Post aims to redefine public perception and negative stereotypes associated with prison inmates while making a difference in children's lives, one teddy bear at a time.


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