Mansfield ISD Students Make Special Donation to Arlington PD to Help Kids in Crisis
By Tim Ciesco
Posted on May 11, 2023, May 11, 2023

APD Victim Services Unit Accepts Stuffed Animal Donation

Students at two Mansfield ISD schools made a unique donation to the Arlington Police Department Thursday that will be used to help kids in crisis.

Several weeks ago, APD Victim Services Coordinator Carnesha Collins received an unexpected email from Jessica Smith, an Art Educator at Charlotte Anderson Preparatory Academy (CAPA). She was reaching out to Collins to discuss a special service project the school wanted to pull off.

“It made my heart smile,” said Collins.

Smith’s students at CAPA were asked to use their imaginations to create drawings of stuffed animals. Their pictures were then delivered to nearby Summit High School, where fellow Art Educator Kayla Rich’s students were challenged to make real stuffed animals based on the concept art they’d received.

“The day the drawings arrived and I told my students they got to pick which drawing they wanted to turn into a sculpture, they were so excited,” said Rich. “They worked really hard on these.”

But things didn’t end there.

“This was not just a fun art project. This was not just a way to incorporate our curriculum in a more interesting way,” said Smith. “This was a service project. We wanted to donate these stuffed animals to Victim Services so they could make a positive impact in the community.”

The APD Victim Services Unit is a team of non-sworn, licensed counselors who respond to crime scenes and assist victims and their families. The services they provide include crisis intervention counseling, case management, criminal justice support and advocacy, resource referrals, and assistance filing victim’s compensation claims.

When Victim Services responds to an incident involving a child, they often bring a stuffed animal to give to the child to help comfort them and make them feel safe.

Smith, Rich, and all of the students involved in the project invited Collins and her team to visit the school Thursday morning, so they could present APD with the finished product.

“Thank you so much,” Collins told the students. “Our job is to help kiddos and even adults who are unsettled. Your stuffed animals can give them some emotional support. We will be taking your stuffed animals out on crime scenes with us to provide support.”

To view additional images of the donated stuffed animals, visit the Arlington Police Department Facebook page

APD Victim Services Unit Poses with Students Who Made Stuffed Animals

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