First grader, grandmother collect teddy bears for hurricane vict - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

First grader, grandmother collect teddy bears for hurricane victims

Aiden Clark (Provided photo) Aiden Clark (Provided photo)
Aiden helped carry dozens of trash bags and boxes full of teddy bears to the North Carolina-bound trucks. (FOX19 NOW) Aiden helped carry dozens of trash bags and boxes full of teddy bears to the North Carolina-bound trucks. (FOX19 NOW)
Boxes stuffed with teddy bears fill the warehouses of Matthew 25 Ministries. (FOX19 NOW) Boxes stuffed with teddy bears fill the warehouses of Matthew 25 Ministries. (FOX19 NOW)
BLUE ASH, OH (FOX19) -

A local first grader's act of generosity is inspiring others to lend a helping hand across state lines. 

Aidan Clark and his grandmother are teaming up with Matthew 25 Ministries to make sure dozens of packages head to families impacted by Hurricane Matthew last month.

The grandmother and grandson came up with an idea that they believed would help and quickly put it into action.

"We put boxes out, and we asked people to give teddy bears," Clark said.

For two and a half weeks, the boxes sat at schools in West Chester, Ohio. Staff members and students, some as young as preschoolers, showed up to donate teddy bears.

"Aidan's Teddy Bear Project" exceeded expectations. In total, more than 600 bears were donated.

"It was a good lesson for kids," Lois Grimenstein, Aidan's grandmother, said. "It was going to be a life lesson. It would teach compassion and how to help someone even if you're small."

Matthew 25 Ministries is taking care of the shipments. The organization is delivering every package to families who were devastated by flooding that Hurricane Matthew left behind.

"I just thought these kids are so, maybe scared, and frightened, and a teddy bear or another stuffed animal would give them something to hold onto," Grimenstein said.

Grimenstein said she is touched by the community effort and especially by one little girl's kindness. The girl gave away her favorite bunny rabbit and cried on the way to drop it off into one of the boxes.

She attached a note to the bunny that said "I love you. I will miss you, but I will love you even more when you're in North Carolina."

"When I read that, it brought tears to my eyes, and I thought, that's capturing the meaning of this project, and the little children are giving from their hearts," Grimenstein said.

Grimenstein said Clark's dream was to fill four vans with teddy bears.

That dream came true Wednesday when they stacked the boxes inside exactly four vans.

Copyright 2016 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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