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Store donates 200 bears to help kids in a crisis

Two hundred small stuffed bears will be put to work in the Orem community this next year - compliments of Target Stores.

The plush brown toys are part of the stores' Helping Hugs program, intended to provide comfort and a safe squeeze for children in crisis situations. They were presented to Orem's public safety department officials Friday as Target employees looked on and fire engines gathered.Across the nation, 162,000 bears are being distributed.

"This is the first year for the Orem Target store because we've only been here a year," said store manager Cresta Nield. "This is something we've been doing since 1991."

Hershey's Candy Corp. donates a percentage of sales for Hershey's Kisses sold in Target stores between Feb. 1 and 14 each year to help buy the bears.

"I've seen these work," said Public Safety Director Mike Larsen. "I've used them personally and they help kids. They calm kids."