There are some projects that touch the heart in a very personal way.  Tender Critters is one of those projects that touches the heart of a JATC member.  I have been given permission to share this story with you.

"Several years ago, I lost my daughter in a tragic accident.  Her two daughter were only 11 1/2 months and 6 1/2 years old at the time.  A few months later in the summertime, my son-in-law and the girls were at their lake cottage for the weekend.  While mowing the lawn, my son-in-law ran over a nest of bees and was stung multiple times.  By the timehe put the mower away and was walking into the house, he knew he was in trouble.  He asked the older daughter to run next door, tell the neighbor what happened, and ask him to come over right away.  The neighbor called 911 and then hurried over to the cottage and found my son-in-law in the midst of a seizure.  The cottage is in a rural area with volunteer EMTs so all of them received the 911 dispatch.  Almost immediately there were several EMTs at the cottage. While my son-in-law was being stabilized, one of the other EMTs diverted the girls attention away from what was going on with their Dad by giving each of them a stuffed animal to comfort them.  That gesture helped calm the oldest daughter who understood what was going on with her Dad.  I am happy to say that this story has a happy ending.  All is well with my son-in-law, the girls still have and love those two stuffed animals, and by taking part in the Tender Critters project I know that I am helping comfort other young children who find themselves in a frightening situation."

I personally know of at least 3 other people who have told stories to me about how their kids were comforted by the stuffed animals they received at the hospital emergency room, and I am sure many of you can share similar stories as well. 

The Tender Critters project is just one of many JATC projects that touches my heart and makes me proud to be a member.