Mental Health Care and Teddy Bears: Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy is Back

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Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Dede Bannister knows it.

“Because it felt like there wasn’t anything else I could do,” she said while making her drop-off at Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II.

Adam Johns knew it too. In 2004, when 186 school children were killed in a massacre in Belzan, Russia, Adam started the first Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy.

“He was impacted by that,” said his mom, Deborah Johns.

She and Adam’s brother are behind Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II. It’s an effort to send support, teddy bears and donations, to the families of Newtown, Connecticut.

They are doing it in Adam Johns’ memory. He took his own life in March, 2011.

Deborah Johns still clutches the teddy bear someone gave her after Adam’s death. She says it helps, but she says the real help would be to begin a real conversation about mental health in America.

Johns is convinced that if we treated mental health care like we do physical health care, her son and 27 people in Newtown would still be alive today.

“We have to take it out of the darkness and into the light. And work with it,” Johns said.

If you’d like to donate to Operation Fuzzy Wuzzy II, you can drop off stuffed animals or money to and Beach Hut Deli location, or contact Johns directly at this email:

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