Teddy Bear Cops

February 29, 2004--Posted at 10:30 p.m. CST

MOUND CITY--A Crittenden county couple delivers subpeonas and serves warrants, that's their job, but delivering joy and happiness is their passion. 

Tim Veteto and his wife are Mound City constables, but are better known as the Teddy Bear Cops. In the last 4 1/2 years, Veteto and his wife Michelle have collected, sanitized and delivered more than 37,000 teddy bears and stuffed animals.  In the process, they've rolled up nearly 300,000 drive miles all over Region 8 and around the nation.

"Hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, ambulance services, police departments, anyone with a child in crisis gets bears," says Veteto.

It all started with a teddy bear for their grandson, to get him to buckle up.  That message remains, but it's also been modified a bit.

It's taken a lot of healthy donations to make this labor of love happen.  One of the Teddy Bear volunteers is Grace Tyra of Paragould. 

During the last 3 years, Ms Grace alone has donated close to 2,500 fuzzy toys.

"A lot of children don't have stuffed animals, it makes a big difference to see the children's face light up and that big smile," says Tyra.

"We're not the teddy bear cops, we're just honored to give them away," says Veteto. "The volunteers are the teddy bear cops, we couldn't do this without them."

Veteto says, "Words can't describe it. To see like an angel come out of them when they get these bears. To see their face turn from stress to joy, you can't describe it. Nothing is more rewarding than that. I wish everyone could hand someone a bear and watch it change their lives. That act of kindness changes their life. It works, it really does."

For more information about the Teddy Bear Cops or learn about becoming a volunteer go to www.teddybearcop.com