This holiday season, Arnaud’s Restaurant, in partnership with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation (NOPJF), will host its Fourth Annual Teddy Bear Program, benefiting the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), Raintree Children and Family Services, and local communities.
Since its inception in 2014, the program has collected more than 2,000 teddy bears for police to hand out to children they encounter while on duty.
“The success of this program lies in the impact we are making on the community and local youth,” said Michael Harrison, Superintendent of Police for the NOPD. "We are grateful for our partners at Arnaud’s Restaurant and NOPJF who make that possible.”
Beginning Thanksgiving day, running through December 31, Arnaud’s customers and the public are encouraged to donate new teddy bears at designated collection sites.
“We are deeply grateful to Arnaud’s for initiating such an important and worthy cause that directly and positively impacts the youth in our community,” said LaShawna Schofield, Executive Director of Raintree Children and Family Services. “Teddy bears will be provided to foster children in our programs who have been temporarily removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. Beyond Raintree providing a place to heal in a safe and secure home, they will have a cuddly bear that’s soft and reassuring, thanks to this program.”
At the end of the collection period, the teddy bears will be donated to Raintree Children and Family Services and NOPD officers to place in their vehicles to distribute to children who have been traumatized due to tragedy or victimization.
“This program encapsulates the true spirit of the holiday season,” says Katy Casbarian, co-owner of Arnaud’s Restaurant. “We’re excited to make this program bigger and better to respond to the need from the NOPD. We’re thankful for the other local organizations who have come on board to support this great cause, to allow greater reach and longevity of the program.”
Collection bins will be placed at accessible locations during normal hours of operation and moved to different locations every few days.
Those wishing to donate bears can also do so at the following location:
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
2020 St. Charles Avenue (lobby)
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
Arnaud’s Restaurant is located at 813 Bienville Street. For reservations and more information, visit www.arnaudsrestaurant.com.