Atwater student collects teddy bears, surprises seniors for Valentine's Day

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A high school student from Atwater is spreading the love this Valentine's Day by giving back to a local senior care facility.

Leah Chapman, a sophomore at Buhach Colony High School, held a teddy bear drive to help bring joy to the seniors who have been isolated from their families during the pandemic.

"I want them to see that they are loved and that there are people in the community who appreciate them," Chapman said.

Collection bins were placed around town and she promoted the drive on social media. Community members turned out to help, donating twice the number of bears than she expected.

The bears were delivered to Amie Marchini's Senior Care in Merced. Every resident also got a card signed by a community member.

Leah said her goal was to make everyone feel special.

She even had enough bears left over to donate to Merced County's CASA chapter, a non-profit that helps foster youth.
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