ESCONDIDO (CNS) - Escondido police Tuesday sought donations of new stuffed animals to give to Rady Children's Hospital patients.
Officers participating in the 22nd annual Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive set up toy collection boxes in the front lobby of the Escondido Police and Fire Headquarters at 1163 N. Centre City, Community Service Officer Bobbi Akans said.
Donated "huggable-sized" stuffed animals will be collected through Dec. 10. About 80 law enforcement vehicles will travel caravan-style to deliver the toys and, after a brief ceremony, officers will visit patients to hand out the teddy bears, according to Rady Children's Hospital.
The teddy bear drive tradition started in 1990 when a Coronado police officer was on a follow-up call at the hospital and noticed a nearly empty toy donation bin. He then bought 12 bears and donated them to the hospital, according to hospital officials.
It has since grown to more than 100 officers representing 15 agencies who collect up to 40,000 stuffed animals annually, hospital officials said.