Justin with local girls who donated bears
Justin Martin stuffed the 1,000th bear at 5:50 pm tonight.
My daughter and I watched as his Dad took photos to mark the occasion and we joked that this bear should have a name, even though his distinction would end once he was packed up with the rest of the bears to be distributed to sick and needy children throughout New Jersey.
I suggested Bear, since that was the name of Justin's original stuffed toy which inspired him & his dad to create The Justin Charity Bear Fund in the first place. His dad recommended Bear II.
Well, it doesn't really matter what we call that bear because some child out there will give it a new name. And that's what the hundreds of hours have been all about: ensuring that children have their own stuffed toy to love and cherish this holiday season. Justin was able to do that for 850 kids last year and this year he's going to do it for 1,000 - and counting. This remarkable 7-year-old is planning to continue stuffing bears as long as there are donations.
My daughter helped stuff several bears tonight but she is still a little young to grasp the full scope of what she was involved in but I think over time she will understand and I'm glad she was able to help, even in a small way.