State Representative Jim Van Engelenhoven of Pella announced Thursday that he will be encouraging Iowans to take part in the Iowa National Guard Officers Auxillary’s (INGO Aux) “Bear Hug” project. The project assembles and distributes custom-made Teddy Bears to Iowa children under the age of 12 who have a parent that is deployed. The bear serves as a source of comfort, and provides a link to the soldier.
The Iowa National Guard is facing the largest deployment this fall since World War II. INGO Aux has set a goal of raising $30,000 to provide Teddy Bears for the roughly 5,000 children who will be affected. Van Engelenhoven says donations to the “Bear Hug” project can be mailed to the Polk County Bank in Polk City, Iowa; or can be submitted online at www.iowaofficers.org.