At the Nelson Children’s Center, yes there is! Her name is Anita Ferguson, a Denton resident and longtime volunteer, who serves as a mentor and surrogate parent for several kids at the Nelson Center.
While Anita doesn’t claim a medical license, she does have a big heart, a sewing machine, and very crafty fingers. That’s all we need for Teddy Bear Doctor credentials.
At the Nelson Center, children often arrive with no more than a plastic trash bag of personal belongings, because many have been bounced around half a dozen home placements throughout the previous year or so. Consequently, those few items in the trash bag are precious, as are any other belongings the kids acquire from the “Point Store” (the Nelson “rewards store” for positive behavior) or from birthdays, Christmas, etc.
Teddy bears have great value here. They represent safety, security, and innocence to children who have lacked most of these things in the past. Because of the sometimes aggressive nature of many of our children, stuffed animals often take the brunt of a tantrum or outburst. It is so important to the staff at Nelson Center to help the kids keep the few belongings they have in good condition, so we sought out a “Teddy Bear Doctor” to fix any major or minor repairs needed. Anita has been faithfully fulfilling that role for the past two years. She has reattached limbs, reunited tails with backsides, and performed many other forms of “cosmetic surgery.” Her most recent “patient” belonged to a 9-year-old boy. The bright orange teddy bear had a detached muzzle, and you can see by the post-surgery picture (above) he is back in one cuddly piece.
We are so thankful for Anita, her good heart, and her talent! Because of her teddy bear skills, the kids continue to have a piece of tangible, huggable security to call their own.