February represents love so isn't it a great month to have JATC's Tender Critters Drive?
Tender Critters are new 18" or smaller stuffed animals that JATC collects or buys and donates weekly to the Branson Cox ER room to help comfort children who are in trauma. Holding a soft cuddly stuffed animal helps kids think of something other than what’s going on around them. Last year JATC donated over 2000 stuffed animals to the Cox Branson ER, as well as the Branson and Hollister Police Departments, and they expect the number to increase every year.
This year many businesses and churches are helping with the Junior Auxiliary of Taney County (JATC) Tender Critter Drive held each February to replenish the supply of stuffed animals that will be delivered weekly to the Emergency Department at Cox Medical Center-Branson. The staff then gives them to children who visit the ER or need to stay in the hospital.
We are asking members of our community to donate a stuffed animal or two during the month of February. Last year our community donated almost 600 “Critters”. When children face the confusing and often scary experience of a hospital emergency room visit or a hospital stay, a cuddly stuffed animal can be the difference between anxiety and reassurance. You can brighten a child’s day by donating one of these “Critters”.
The following businesses and churches have offered to act as drop off locations this year: Binswanger Glass (Downtown Business 65), Branson Bank (Hwy 248), Branson United Methodist Church (Hwy 76), Central Bank of Branson, CoxHealth Fitness Center (located at the Rec Plex at Branson Hills Parkway), Kimberling City Church of Christ, St. Joseph's Anglican Church (T Hwy), Victory Chiropractic (Victorian Village on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway), and Legends in Concert Branson (Hwy 76).
Legends in Concert is also holding their area appreciation for residents of Stone and Taney County on February 14, 15, 16, and 17. Tickets will be $10 plus tax, and any guest who brings a new stuffed animal for JATC’s Tender Critter Drive will get a free upgrade to preferred seating (first 5 rows). Legends will also accept donations at their box office for the whole month of February. Reservations for area appreciation can be made by calling 339-3003.
The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 913 in Branson and Chapter 1119 in Kimberling City, the Taneycomo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Legion Post 0220, and PEO, Chapter IB are once again joining in the Tender Critter drive by encouraging their members to collect Critters during the year.
“Tender Critters” is one of the longest running projects for JATC, with members donating new stuffed animals at each of their monthly meetings. This collection is a year-round effort and JATC invites members of the community to join us in brightening a child’s day by donating a “tender critter” at any time. Just send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, and a JATC member will contact you about picking up your donation.
JATC is more than a nonprofit organization, it’s a group of women united by a single cause and dedicated to helping the children of Taney County. That’s the magic of JATC. It was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1998 and continues to grow and thrive throughout Taney County. JATC is part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with headquarters in Greenville, Mississippi. NAJA has more than 15,500 active, associate and life members in 96 chapters located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. Their slogan is “Care Today-Character Tomorrow”.