NOPD, NOPJF, Arnaud’s Send Plush Care Package To Baton Rouge
NEW ORLEANS – Dozens of teddy bears and other stuffed animals have made their way to Baton Rouge thanks to the generosity of New Orleanians.
The NOPD, Arnaud’s Restaurant/French 75 Bar, and the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation (NOPJF), collected more than 1,500 teddy bears and other plush animals during the 2016 Teddy Bear Drive.
This year, Arnaud’s and the NOPJF decided to share the wealth with officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department. BRPD picked up a supply of furry friends this week and safely transported them back to the state capital for use by officers.
The plush animals will be placed in BRPD vehicles for officers to distribute to children they encounter who have been traumatized due to tragedy or victimization.
Between Nov. 24 and Dec. 31, 2016, the public was encouraged to donate new, unused teddy bears. Archie Casbarian, co-owner of Arnaud’s, said they started the program three years ago as a way to reach out to local children in crisis as well as a way to give NOPD an additional tool to use in connecting with those children.
“Our first year, we collected 500 bears," Casbarian said. "We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve collected more than 1,500 bears this year, thanks to the generosity of a lot of New Orleanians. Because of that generosity, we’re able to expand the scope of the program to include other police departments in the area."
During the drive, collection bins were placed inside NOPD Headquarters, Arnaud’s Restaurant, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and the NOPJF offices. Other organizations that aided in the drive included the Krewe of Iris, Hibernia, Energy Centre, the Junior League of New Orleans and the Press Club of New Orleans, among others.